Faces Places sees iconic director Agnès Varda forging an unexpected collaboration with photographer JR as they embark on a road trip like no other. They set out in JR’s photo booth truck, exploring the villages of rural France to take portraits of their residents, enlarged into gigantic murals!
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In a way this is sort of a sequel to Mur Murs. But more than that, it's a Buddy Film. Varda's body of work is formidable, very impressive, but no one film is really a masterpiece. She herself is the masterpiece, adorable, lovable, unassuming and continuing to make great films even after her announced "retirement".
I watched FACES PLACES last night. I cried a little. I just looked at the trailer. I cried a little again. Do you think I am an embarrassingly simple person? I don't care what you think. This is a generously simple film. Its openness, humility, and warmth strike me as positively heroic right now. I pity congenitally miserable people. They will find no footing here. I love Agnès, you love Agnès, who don't love Agnès?
Bad editing, terrible utilization of a terrible music. Varda continues to capitalize on the spectator's willingness and tenderness, but that Jr is someone very unnerving in his pose as a popular social space artist. And his narcissism overcomes any possible tenderness. Godard stays out of this team play, hélàs pour nous.
Wonderful collaboration between Varda and JR that finds art in everyday life out in the villages in the faces of strangers. Joyfully light hearted at times but with a serious side underlying concerning aging, mortality, creation and legacy. The relationship between the 89 yr old Varda and the 33 yr old JR is quite moving in its own way with each finding a kindred soul or muse to influence their own creations.
Just about anything or anyone, if recorded and publicly displayed, can become art. That's the idea at the core of this heartwarming doc—or should I say, one of many. It's also about age and youth, the relationship between the past and the present, shifting cultures in modern times, and what an asshole Jean-Luc Godard is. It's a testament to Varda's gaze that she's still looking for and finding life all around her.
89 year-old Varda & 33 year-old JR meet people and make art and are generally charming together on a series of road trips through France, which they document. Probably the most good-natured film of the year. I feel like we just all really need this right now. 3.75