Abstract
Drawing on Agnès Varda’s practice of engaging characters dialectically with their environments, I intend to explore how Jacquot de Nantes (1991) and The Gleaners & I (2000) have codified skin as a phenomenological surface heavily informed by memory. This is achieved by analysing the “violently intimate” (Varda’s own words) and interpersonal nature of the extreme close-ups of the bereaved Jacques Demy in Jacquot de Nantes, and Varda’s representations of her own skin in The Gleaners & I. A haptic reading of Varda’s work emerged around the release of The Gleaners & I, and I hope to translate the idea of haptic imagery towards earlier moments in Varda’s filmography, to revisit an underdiscussed work. Likewise, the notion of gleaning will also heavily figure into these analyses, addressing the use of different formats, different film stocks, reconstructed biopic narratives, portraits, self-portraits and voice overs to construct a vivid interpersonal tapestry. In this manner, it will be argued that both films constitute a lived-body; sharing Varda’s lived-experience with the viewer.

A haptic reading of Agnès Varda’s Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (The Gleaners & I, Agnès Varda, 2000) emerged shortly after its release, including here in Senses of Cinema 1. This essay intends to translate said approach to an earlier moment in Varda’s filmography – the biographical piece on her late husband Jacques Demy. Drawing on Varda’s phenomenological representations of space, this essay intends to explore how the haptic images of Demy’s skin in Jacquot de Nantes (Agnès Varda, 1991) are codified with memories of specific locations, people and objects, and how the viewer can find varied levels of identifiability within them.

Jacquot de Nantes explores the life of someone lost, who was not lost at the time of filming. Starting with a reconstruction of his childhood interests in puppetry and film, and ending with his being sent to study at film school, the film, featuring a narrative penned by Demy himself, presents him in a variety of facets. Demy is portrayed by three youthful actors for different ages, and Varda insisted that the film be shot on location at Demy’s childhood home, despite the reluctance of the present inhabitants:

“They weren’t very keen to rent it. It wasn’t an easy negotiation. Jacques was funny, he said, “There’s a garage next door, use that one.” There was an empty garage nearby. I said, “No! I believe in the walls, and the spirit that remains in a place once lived in.” So we fought for it.”  2

For existential phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, our lived-body constitutes our status of being-in-the-world, and “the spontaneous acts through which man has articulated his life themselves become sedimented on the outside and thereby lead an anonymous existence as things” 3. This is to say that we have imprinted our marks upon objects such as houses; we have made them our own, and we know our world through them. However, because we are dictated by our own subjectivity, we can only engage with some other objects through an air of familiarity e.g. if we walk into someone else’s house for the first time we are surrounded by familiar elements, but we are yet to truly know its personal connotations. Merleau-Ponty also states that we cannot directly embody someone else’s act of perceiving, because this would require a rupturing of the self. The way in which we understand another’s being-in-the-world is therefore achieved through the familiarity of having traversed similar scenarios with our own lived-body. Our world is known through our lived-body’s perceptions and actions, and many moments in Varda’s filmography can be said to show similar actions back to us, usually in distinct, memorable environments. It is equally as enjoyable to watch the activities of the fishermens’ village of Sète in La Pointe Courte (Agnès Varda, 1955) as it is the protagonists for example. This is thanks to Varda’s documentary focus on a space rife with acts we may have perceived ourselves, constituting a prominent backdrop to the film’s narrative. In Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cléo from 5 to 7, Agnès Varda, 1962), the film’s seemingly real-time unfolding allows for specific locations to truly interlock with the titular character’s narrative. The early scene in the café is notable because Varda utilises the space’s mirrors to both illustrate Cléo’s vanity and to reflect the broader scale and activity of the bustling café.

Furthermore, the nature in which Varda presents her chosen filmic environments is often pitted against dominant narratives. In Les Dites Cariatides (The So-called Caryatids, Agnès Varda, 1984), for example, a decidedly feminist lens is pointed towards the sporadically placed caryatid statues of Paris, contrasting them against their predominating male-gendered counterparts. Towards the end of the documentary short, a light-hearted sequence sees inhabitants encouraged to sweep the caryatid occupying the outer walls of their building. Though this scene is playful, it ultimately underlines Varda’s point that many of the caryatids go unnoticed by passers-by. Upon watching Varda’s short, one might walk around Paris and see the previously hidden figures in our perceptual field, because we have witnessed their personalisation by other subjects through the film.

Agnes Varda

A phenomenologically active caryatid in Les Dites Cariatides (The So-called Caryatids, Agnès Varda, 1984)

This changing of our perceptual field by the filmic experience incites closer exploration. Vivian Sobchack, drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s thought, posits that a film constitutes its own lived-body – a film-body – because it perceives and expresses in motion, just as we do 4. What amounts is an embodiment relationship, with the film becoming a space wherein the filmmaker’s perception and our own can interact, amongst other advantages. Again, this does not amount to a rupture of the self. We are never fully consumed by this experience – Sobchack points out that emergency exit sign we see illuminated in the theatre space marks “an ironic but literal marking of the vision’s limits” 5. Instead, states of engagement can be dictated in different ways, to varying degrees, owed to the language or cinematic apparatuses employed. Jennifer M. Barker uses Merleau-Ponty’s analogy of touching one hand with the other to best understand this formulation, because each hand drifts between the state of touching and touched 6.
Jacquot de Nantes presents frequent representations of the wall outside Demy’s childhood home. In one sequence, Demy is portrayed as a child looking at the wall through a window whilst snow falls. The shot of the wall is followed by an extreme close-up of the real Demy’s eye replicating that look. Here we see Demy as a perceptual subject in both the past and the present, but the wall possesses a more abstract demarcation, because we are witnessing it in its present-day state (the time in which it was captured by Varda for the purposes of the film). Merleau-Ponty suggests that “Every perception presupposes a certain past of the subject” 7. Thus, each object that we engage with “implies a more secret act by which we elaborate our mileau” 8. Demy’s perceiving eye, in the past and the present, codifies the wall as a surface active with memory, reflecting Varda’s sentiment regarding “the spirit that remains.”

Agnes Varda

Young Demy and the family home’s wall in Jacquot de Nantes (Agnès Varda, 1991)

Demy himself is given the avenue to speak on multiple occasions; sometimes addressing the viewer directly. These moments are charming and phenomenological in their own way. After his teenage self is depicted acquiring his second camera, an 8mm Ercsam Camex, the real Demy conveys how it operates. Indeed, Merleau-Ponty suggests that “The thing can never be separated from someone who perceives it; … it is posited at the end of a gaze or at the conclusion of a sensory exploration that invests it with humanity.” 9. One shot depicts the present-day Demy operating a projector with a child to screen his first animation piece – a moment that combines both memory and tactility. As Marks observes, “some works undertake to excavate the memories of objects merely by exposing them and “developing” the stories they retain” 10. Merleau-Ponty and Marks’ quotes suggest that objects can have an aura imprinted onto them, despite their uniformity as commodities. Objects such as the camera and projector become uniquely associated with Demy through contact, imbuing authenticity. Demy’s presence is one that allows the film to operate beyond a simple reconstruction of events.

Agnes Varda

Phenomenologically charged items in Jacquot de Nantes (Agnès Varda, 1991)

Tracking shots, often symmetrically composed and grid-like in their movements, appear in much of Varda’s filmography, and her usual practice of scanning the topology of walls is present; most notably the wall of the family home’s courtyard. But this practice is further extended towards the ‘present day’ Demy himself. These moments, in which Demy’s skin is presented in extreme close-up, incite the primary purpose of this essay: to explore how this practice extends beyond the visual, and can illicit the viewer’s sense of touch. One extreme close-up scans the side of his face; his hair, across his cheek and comes to linger on his eye. For Varda, as a filmmaker, these segments were a necessary way of being close, or rather “close-up”, with Demy during his difficult journey, through filming “his living matter” 11. This tracing of an intimate movement/moment mimics the act of caressing another with one’s eyes and/or hand – the interpersonality, movement and texture of which constitutes a haptic image 12. For Marks, haptic perception invites the viewer to privilege “the material presence of the image” 13, to graze rather than gaze upon it, and to contemplate its texture. The haptic viewing experience often involves a degree of work for the viewer, regularly incorporating specific interpersonal notions or experiences.

Agnes Varda

Grazing Demy’s “living matter” in Jacquot de Nantes (Agnès Varda, 1991)

Agnes Varda

Match-on-actions in Jacquot de Nantes (Agnès Varda, 1991)

For Barker, inspired by Marks’ and Sobchack’s explorations, the filmic experience is capable of “gestures, which take the form of specific cinematic devices or techniques, individually or in combination” 14. An early tracking shot up to Demy’s shoulder, where (presumably) Varda’s own hand is affectionately placed literally signposts the physical act of touching. This sequence is the most literal example of Merleau-Ponty’s evaluation of the hand occupying two modalities, and Barker’s concept of the filmic gesture. This foundational action of touch, rendered upon Demy’s shoulder and later absent, lingers for the viewer to identify with and mimic. Just as Varda’s memory of Demy is evoked in this touch, so too is Demy’s memory of his mother – the shot is immediately followed by a match-on-action, with the reconstructed Demy sitting in the car as his mother places her hand on his shoulder. If we respond to the gesture, we may recall memories associated with our own parents. Another extreme close-up is charged into ignition by the fictional Demy’s mother sewing a button onto a cardigan for his father, which the present-day Demy is then seen wearing in a close-up tracking shot, which starts with the button and moves upwards, grazing Demy’s cheek and coming to rest on his eye. Through these match-on-actions we never stay situated in one moment of time, reflecting Merleau-Ponty’s view that time and the subject are intertwined, that time is “a network of intentionalities” 15. These sojourns between the past and the present, sometimes literally indicated with forward and backward pictorials of hands and often marked by a change between black & white (for the reconstructed Demy) and colour (for the present-day Demy, clips from his films or moments with profound visual impact) film stocks, are therefore consistently established on-screen via Demy’s lived-body – his acts of perception, whether they be visual or tactile. His perceptions are mixed into the language of the overall film like glue, just as they are applied to the aura of the objects with which he interacts.

Agnes Varda

A sojourn between the past and the present in Jacquot de Nantes (Agnès Varda, 1991)

As suggested above, we might feel inclined to graze the close-up images of Demy’s skin, following the camera’s mimicry of our examining eye. Varda describes these images as being “violently intimate” 16, and both Marks’ and Merleau-Ponty’s thoughts indicate that they possess such power because we are invited into the highly personal boundaries of Varda’s gaze. We enact the same romantic gazes with our significant others, but here we are positioned as an interlocutor, and the invitation to share such intimacy with Demy’s skin feels uncanny, or violent as Varda suggests, because he is not the subject that we personally associate with such an intimate, personal gaze/graze. Furthermore, beyond the interpersonal nature of these moments, there is an evocation of the role of decay. Because the editing of the film began after Demy’s passing, these images of Demy whilst ill are ruptured into appearing to the viewer as Demy dying 17, heavily impacting the film’s themes of mortality. A haptic image can often address the viewer’s own embodiment or, such as with Shauna Beharry’s tactile exploration of her bereaved mother’s sari in Seeing is Believing (Shauna Beharry, 1991), present rituals which utilise the body to evoke passed loved ones 18. Although Demy’s suffering at the hands of the AIDs virus is not specifically mentioned in Jacquot de Nantes 19, the act of examining his skin so intimately – where one can very clearly see the purple marks of Karposi’s sarcoma in certain shots – incites distinct associations regarding the deterioration of one’s health.

Following Marks’ and Sobchack’s lines of thought, Davina Quinlivan has suggested that trauma such as this can be mapped onto the body of the film itself, and that these manipulations of film’s materiality “might refer to a particular form of film experience that corresponds with a cathartic visuality” 20. Indeed, Marks, echoing Sobchack’s film-body formulations, argues that one can understand “cinema viewing as an exchange between two bodies – that of the viewer and that of the film” 21. The implications of this sentiment are thrust into action in the case of Jacquot de Nantes, wherein the body of Demy himself is mapped onto the body of the film – his skin is an essential part of the film’s rich tapestry, or DNA. If we were to unspool a 35mm print of the film, the shots of Demy’s skin would make themselves apparent – like pieces of coloured fabric juxtaposing themselves against a plethora of monochrome. These intermittent extreme close-ups are the cement to the film’s bricks. Of course, Varda’s practice of switching between black & white and colour film help highlight this transfiguration. Also of note is how Demy was present during much of the film’s shoot, but when his health deteriorated to the point of affecting his energy the crew built a set to match the living room of the family home, and placed a bed behind one of the walls so that Demy could rest and hear the film being completed 22. Thus, for many of the reconstructed scenes, the present-day Demy can be said to have been exposed on those rolls of film though not appearing physically. He is metaphysically and physically within the walls.
Varda turned the camera towards her own skin a decade later for The Gleaners & I. Here skin becomes intertwined with the digital artefacts and interlacing of her personal video camera, the portability of which allows her to scan and assess surfaces at any given moment, whether it be in her home or on the road as she attempts to trap trucks within her grasp. In The Gleaners & I many of the images of skin invite the viewer to invest themselves in the role of the hand and its ability to ‘glean’, the central theme of the film being an identification with the process of collecting leftover or neglected items, often re-assessing their use. Perhaps then, what Varda was attempting to achieve in Jacquot de Nantes was to glean the temporal fragility of Demy’s skin, freeing it from the passing of time and embalming it (to echo André Bazin’s sentiment 23), presenting the importance of it to the viewer via an emulation of touch. In The Gleaners & I, Varda again enacts a similar process; gleaning images of the skin on her hands in an autobiographical process which addresses her own mortality:

“This is my project – to film with one hand my other hand. To enter into the horror of it. I find it extraordinary. I feel as if I am an animal, or worse, I am an animal I don’t know.”

This is Varda’s subjective self-portrait, which she likens to one of Rembrandts, noting the difference in ontology. It is worth noting that this sequence with Varda’s hand grazing the surface of a Rembrandt portrait shares tactile similarities with a moment in Seeing is Believing wherein Beharry enacts an analogous process with a portrait of her bereaved mother, this being one of Mark’s key examples of filmic hapticity 24. Though touch is an active component in both Jacquot de Nantes and The Gleaners & I, Varda’s practice in the latter utilises these personally focused sequences as comparative exercises rather than an exploration of loss. Anne Rutherford has outlined how the images Varda collects in The Gleaners & I operate on a level of “affective ‘frisson’” – they linger and impact the entire film” 25. When Varda devotes a sequence to collecting heart shaped left-over potatoes it’s not just to illustrate the act of gleaning itself, but to craft a visual comparison between the skin of the potatoes and her own, aided intrinsically by the lo-fidelity of the video format, wherein the tactility of skin and potato surfaces combine into a uniform texture – a haptic image.

Agnes Varda

Uniformity of textures in Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (The Gleaners & I, Agnès Varda, 2000)

Kate Ince has suggested that Varda’s practice of presenting “on screen women as embodied subjects of their own experience and desire” constitutes her filmography as one that can be best understood “as a performance of feminist phenomenology” 26. The French title for the film, Les glaneurs et la glaneuse, perhaps signposts the emphasis on gender more literally, with glaneuse being the singular feminine of the collective glaneurs, whilst Varda referring to herself in the third person stresses the initial presentation of gleaning as a bonding exercise passed down by generations of women. Referring to herself as a “gleaner of images”, Varda isn’t just collecting images of her process of ageing; she’s championing the act of their representation in a necessary feminist act, presenting a non-possessive and non-hierarchical depiction of women’s bodies (the embodied subject that Ince suggests), challenging our lived-experience of culturally perpetuated images. The Gleaners & I, like Jacquot de Nantes before it, also utilises the sentiment of a wall as witness to personal history – Varda is reluctant to repair a crack in her ceiling because she has become attached to it, likening it to an abstract painting. The same crack in the ceiling appears in Les plages d’Agnès (The Beaches of Agnès, Agnès Varda, 2008), Varda’s most comprehensive attempt at writing multiple emotional subjectivities on to a location.

The way in which The Beaches of Agnès traces a thematic current back to Jacquot de Nantes is of particularly note to this essay. Namely, Varda’s direct-to-camera reflection on Demy’s death is followed by a sequence depicting Varda as she grieves in an all-white veil, a video of the tide superimposed over the fabric. Quinlivan’s expression of a cathartic visuality is again useful here, as Varda’s use of a moving image on a fabric addresses the materiality of the film-body. Giuliana Bruno has recently suggested that we take a deeper look at the relationship between screen and fabric, given that the screen onto which most films are projected is in fact a tactile surface 27. In Jacquot de Nantes, the beach is the first and final location in which we witness Demy – the film opens with him lying on the beach, and the final shot is a point-of-view filmed by Varda which traces the pattern of the tide towards him as he stares empathetically towards the camera. In this gesture, which emulates the sense of a projection, Varda forges an indexical link back to Jacquot de Nantes. The image of the tide has truly been rendered cathartic in both films, and the soothing back and forth of the waves also acts as a metaphor for time’s role in the tangibility of memory, just like Varda’s playful practice of walking backwards when recanting memories to the camera.

Agnes Varda

The personal geography of the tide in Les plages d’Agnès (The Beaches of Agnes, Agnès Varda, 2000)

Agnes Varda

Demy on the beach in Jacquot de Nantes (Agnès Varda, 1991)

Ince has implied that there is a distinct personal geography to Varda’s work; locations “are so entirely fused with her sensibility that it has become impossible to think of her films without thinking of them” 28. Even when we travel elsewhere through Varda’s reflections in The Beaches of Agnès, we consistently return to the beach as a space which incites autobiographical reflection from Varda. But the film also explores how the beach can be transported elsewhere. Firstly, in the playful sequence where the Ciné-Tamaris office occupies a beach reconstructed in the street, but more importantly in Varda’s installation work. The installation piece Les Veuves de Noirmoutier (Agnés Varda, 2005) involves the beach as a cathartic space metaphorically transported into the museum. Varda interviews a series of widows, whom appear on 14 individual screens set around a central image of the widows walking melancholically around a fixed shot of a beachscape. Les Veuves de Noirmoutier continues Varda’s representation of womanhood, ageing and mourning on screen much like the images of her own skin in The Gleaners & I, but as Delphine Bénézet observes; “Varda does not confine her representation of widows to the stereotype of a lonely, wrinkled, white haired woman” 29, as many of the subjects are observed working amongst their communities. With the audio of each smaller screen localised to headphones on a chair, the visitor is encouraged to wander around the space to listen to each experience person-to-person. In this wandering, the visitor, perhaps unknowingly, reconstructs the pace and circularity of walking seen in the central video. The beach of Noirmoutier further embodies the space of the museum as part of Varda’s exhibition at the Cartier Foundation, where two shacks based on those seen around the beach are built. In one, the visitor views a wall of portraits taken of the locals by Varda, and the other involves the commercial failure of one of her early films, Les Créatures (The Creatures, Agnés Varda, 1966). This shack, referred to as the cabane de cinéma, consists of transparent walls to which film strips of Les Créatures are attached. The exhibition literally mirrors Sobchack’s notion of the film-body, and draws parallels with this essay’s earlier sentiment of unspooling the film-body of Jacquot de Nantes to see the skin of Demy on the skin of the film. Bruno, discussing the role of film in museum installations, writes how cinema can be “displayed on the walls to be walked through, grasped and reworked” 30, and Varda’s cabane de cinema is an apt example of this. Visitors are encouraged to inhabit the shack, with Varda remarking “In here, it feels like I live in cinema,” due to the way in which the light illuminates the film strips.

Agnes Varda

Varda inhabits the cinema – Les plages d’Agnès (The Beaches of Agnes, Agnès Varda, 2000)

A thematic path can be traced back to Jacquot de Nantes through Varda’s installations, The Beaches of Agnès and The Gleaners & I, as they all place emotional significance on space, decay and loss. Of course, in the case of the beach, it can initially seem obscure to the viewer that a space with picturesque qualities can be witness to such emotional weight, but it is nonetheless a space to which Varda has applied the hardships of loss, both in Jacquot de Nantes and The Beaches of Agnès. In The Gleaners & I, Varda addresses her own mortality in a haptic manner, but Jacquot de Nantes’ sequences with the present-day Demy’s actively portray skin as a surface that has witnessed whilst also exploring loss. Several of the extreme close-ups on Demy follow similar camera movements concerning space: the reconstructed Demy is seen walking past a wall which is then studied in a tracking shot before a cut transitions us to a tracking shot of Demy’s hair, down to his cheek and up to his eye. And when Demy and his friend are portrayed cycling across a bridge, a left to right tracking shot looking off the bridge is immediately followed by a left to right close-up studying Demy’s arm, hand and wedding ring. Demy’s skin is the surface by which the past and (now past) present is traversed (be it his mother’s touch, or the sewing of a button), and this tactility is written onto the body of the film as a cathartic exercise for Varda. Just as the films present surfaces, objects and their textures as personally subjective, so can the films themselves be considered as textures, or pieces of fabric gleaned and stitched together. This pre-occupation is perhaps signposted best by the final sequence of The Gleaners & I, wherein Varda admires how the wind moves the surface of the neglected canvas of Glaneuses, Champbeaudouin/Gleaners Fleeing Before The Storm by Pierre Edmond Hedouin. With its potpourri of black and white images, colour images, use of Demy’s filmography, personally recollections and Varda’s emotionally-charged portraits, Is Jacquot de Nantes not a rich tapestry? All of its elements are collected, or gleaned, through a variety of cinematic techniques and conventions, and what Varda ultimately creates in all three films is a canvas constructed for the purpose of interpersonal engagement – the film’s body.

To conclude; by retrospectively assessing Jacquot de Nantes with a haptic approach similar to that formulated around The Gleaners & I, it becomes clear that these currents have existed as a part of Varda’s filmography for some time. Just as Marks’ haptic theory recognises the role of phenomenology, so should we recognise the role of phenomenology in Varda’s work. It becomes a necessary way of addressing how Varda’s haptic images unite with environments actively populated with memory. By assessing the broader phenomenological associations relevant to Demy’s life, and Varda’s shared experiences with him in turn, it can be seen how many paths can diverge from a haptic image such as Demy’s skin. Like the images of Varda’s skin in The Gleaners & I, Demy’s skin becomes an environment that draws and expands upon the rest of the film’s tapestry. These extreme close-ups, as filmic gestures, may evoke feelings of loss, healing or a specific feeling relating to health. They may also communicate specific romantic gazes, nostalgia for the period in which Demy grew up in, or maternal associations. They propagate Jacquot de Nantes’ film-body, appearing to the viewer as exemplifiers of how trauma and decay play an active role in the reconstruction of memory. This essay hopefully communicates the importance of retrospectively re-assessing filmographies after new theoretical currents arise. There may be other moments in Varda’s filmography that warrant a haptic approach, and it is highly encouraged to seek them out.

This article has been peer-reviewed.

Endnotes

  1. Jake Wilson, “Trash and Treasure: The Gleaners And I,Senses of Cinema 23 (December 2002), http://sensesofcinema.com/2002/feature-articles/gleaners/
  2. Agnès Varda, “Agnès V. Raconte featurette”, Jacquot de Nantes, DVD, directed by Agnès Varda (United Kingdom: Artificial Eye, 2011)
  3. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (Oxford: Routledge, 2012 (1945)), p. 363
  4. Vivian Sobchack, The Address of the Eye: A Phenomenology of Film Experience (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992)
  5. ibid, p. 178
  6. Jennifer M. Barker, The Tactile Eye: Touch and the Cinematic Experience (California: University of California Press, 2009)
  7. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (Oxford: Routledge, 2012 (1945)), p. 334
  8. ibid, p. 334
  9. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (Oxford: Routledge, 2012 (1945)), p. 294
  10. Laura U. Marks, The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses, (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2000), p. 107
  11. Agnès Varda, “Agnès V. Raconte featurette”, Jacquot de Nantes, DVD, directed by Agnès Varda (United Kingdom: Artificial Eye, 2011)
  12. Laura U. Marks, The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses, (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2000)
  13. ibid, p. 163
  14. Jennifer M. Barker, The Tactile Eye: Touch and the Cinematic Experience (California: University of California Press, 2009), p. 78
  15. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (Oxford: Routledge, 2012 (1945)), p. 440
  16. Agnès Varda, “Agnès V. Raconte featurette”, Jacquot de Nantes, DVD, directed by Agnès Varda (United Kingdom: Artificial Eye, 2011)
  17. A transformation identified by Varda herself – Agnès Varda, “Agnès V. Raconte featurette”, Jacquot de Nantes, DVD, directed by Agnès Varda (United Kingdom: Artificial Eye, 2011)
  18. Laura U. Marks, The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses, (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2000), p. 75
  19. Demy’s illness is named in Les plages d’Agnès (The Beaches of Agnès, Agnès Varda, 2008)
  20. Davina Quinlivan, Filming the Body in Crisis: Trauma, Healing and Hopefulness (Basingstoke and New York: Palmgrave Macmillan, 2015), p. 11
  21. Laura U. Marks, “Video Haptics and Erotics” in Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media, Laura U. Marks eds. (Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), p. 13
  22. Agnès Varda, “Agnès V. Raconte featurette”, Jacquot de Nantes, DVD, directed by Agnès Varda (United Kingdom: Artificial Eye, 2011)
  23. André Bazin, “The Ontology of the Photographic Image” in What is Cinema? Volume 1, Hugh Gray, eds. (Berkley and London: University of California Press, 2005), p. 9
  24. Laura U. Marks, The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses, (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2000), p. 112
  25. Anne Rutherford, “The Poetics of a Potato: Documentary That Gets Under the Skin,” Metro Magazine 173 (2003): p. 129
  26. Kate Ince, “Feminist Phenomenology and the Film-world of Agnès Varda”, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy Vol 38, no. 3, p. 613
  27. See Bruno’s excellent re-reading of In The Mood For Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000) in Giuliana Bruno “Chapter Two: Surface, Texture, Weave: The Fashioned World of Wong Kar-wai” in Surface: Matters of Aesthetics, Materiality, and Media, Giuliana Bruno, eds. (Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 2014), p. 73
  28. Kate Ince, “Feminist Phenomenology and the Film-world of Agnès Varda”, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy Vol 38, no. 3, p. 609
  29. Delphine Bénézet, The Cinema of Agnès Varda: Resistance and Eclecticism (New York: Wallflower Press, 2014), p. 32
  30. Giuliana Bruno, Public Intimacy: Architecture and the Visual Arts (Michigan: MIT Press, 2007), p.27

About The Author

Andrew Northrop is an independent researcher and programmer from London, UK. He studied his MA at Kingston University and used to check 16mm prints at LUX Moving Image. He is primarily interested in Essay Films and contemporary American Independent Cinema.