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Faces Places is a documentary of director Agnès Varda and street artist JR going through France in a little van that acts like a photo booth. A newyorker article put it across well: it was a film that honours ordinary people on a heroic scale.( I really liked this film 🙂 the relationship between Agnès and JR was adorable and enjoyable to watch, and what I liked most was watching people’s reaction to the huge photos pasted.

Pasting huge photos was simplistic and analog, yet was the right medium given the context. I imagine that if projection mapping were used here, much of the feelings and emotions would be lost! Which reminds me that in considering the purpose and what emotions I would like to evoke in my audience, the medium has to be tailored around the message.

More about the film, one scene that was the most impactful to me was when they pasted up the huge photo onto a rock by the sea. Upon returning the next day, we see that the image was already washed away by the sea. JR and Agnès commented on the ephemerality of images, and how we too will vanish like the image.

Guy Bourdin, originally photographed by Agnès Varda in 1954, gets a brief new lease of life in Faces Places

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I loved how this film portrayed emotions. From the start, when Agnès and JR went to the miner’s cottages to put up a picture of Jeanine, the last resident there, she was so visibly moved and touched by the gesture.

Jeanine, last resident of a row of miners’ cottages, in Faces Places

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Even toward the end, the emotions that Agnès had were so real and raw when Jean-Luc Godard, who she likens JR to throughout the film, upsets her by refusing to meet.

JR and Agnès Varda make a case for goats with horns in Faces Places

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It is a beautiful documentary that is inspiring in so many ways.

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