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Studying French Cinema$
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Sarah Perks, Isabelle Vanderschelden, and Andy Willis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733162

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733162.001.0001

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Social Realism and Agnès Varda’s Cinécriture

Social Realism and Agnès Varda’s Cinécriture

Chapter:
(p.93) Chapter Four: Social Realism and Agnès Varda’s Cinécriture
Source:
Studying French Cinema
Author(s):

Isabelle Vanderschelden

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781906733162.003.0005

This chapter looks at Agnès Varda, who has been associated with films that explore the boundaries between documentary and fiction. She likes to blend reflections on the world we live in with a more aesthetic personal enquiry on artistic creation. The chapter focuses on Varda's most commercially successful film since the New Wave, Sans toit ni loi/Vagabond (1985). This is an important film on many counts: despite its small budget, it has been widely distributed, unlike many of Varda's other films which are still viewed as marginal in form and content; it has been extensively discussed critically for its original engagement with a non-linear narrative structure and as an example of Varda's unique method of 'cinécriture', which links writing and film-making; and it addresses important social issues and themes, including a meditation on homelessness and freedom in modern society, which marks the engagement of the film-maker with the real world. In addition, Sans toit ni loi is an example of women's film-making, which illustrates the role played by Varda in making the feminine perspective more visible. Since she has sometimes referred to herself as a feminist, the chapter also outlines some feminist Film Studies responses to Sans toit ni loi.

Keywords:   Agnès Varda, aesthetic personal enquiry, artistic creation, Sans toit ni loi, non-linear narrative structure, cinécriture, social issues, women's film-making, feminist Film Studies, feminine perspective

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