Thursday, May 11, 2006

A review of "The Gleaners and I"

Documentaries are a discipline that teaches modesty.

Agnès Varda is probably the most energetic and underrated of the directors of the French New Wave. In The Gleaners and I she makes a magical documentary that simultaneously feels casual (and causal) and playful and yet carefully and precisely constructed. Varda picked up a new digital camera and explored the possibilities with an energy and intensity that shows a deep and abiding love (and respect) for cinema as well as people.
The editing is remarkable as we follow those who glean and pick things up that have been abandoned as we also meet those who have been abandonded by society. A great film makes you see the world in a whole new way and I was surprised and moved by Varda’s gentle look at the world through her camera.

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