Just finished watching both the 2000 documentary by French filmmaker Agnes Varda called The Gleaners and I and her followup film The Gleaners and I Two Years Later. I’ve seen the first one before … it’s not just about gleaning in the fields, but about urban gleaning and about making art from found things. Mostly, though, her film loves the people in it. Even her filming of rotting potatoes has a compelling visual beauty.
It’s definitely a poetic film essay … exactly the sort of video essay we’d like to find to publish in Blackbird … which is why I needed to watch it again. It’s a film I may eventually have to own. Maybe it’s also the sort of film I should try making.
It’s got a social justice thread too – about consumerism and waste and poverty and respect. Reminds me of the new non-profit in Richmond called Stuff: a clearinghouse for creative resource reuse.