JCM312/French Feminism, Continued: Agnès Varda (Discussion)

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Kuhn, "Real Women" chapter excerpt

  1. Group 3: Kuhn lists several aspects of "documentariness". Which of these do you see operating in Agnès Varda's Vagabond?
    • Thinking back to Hiroshima Mon Amour, how might Vagabond be considered a "false documentary"? Compare/contrast how these two films use documentary conventions, or what Kuhn calls "codes."
  2. Group 4: Kuhn maintains that there are certain particular characteristics of feminist documentary work, or, as she puts it, she sees "a specific set of signifiers for feminist documentary cinema." What are two of those characteristics/signifiers and do you see them in Vagabond?

Kuhn, "Textual Politics" chapter excerpt

  • Group 1: Kuhn picks up on Wollen's principle of "counter cinema," as it has been applied to feminist film by Johnston and Cook. How does Kuhn define it?
    • Kuhn divides counter cinema into two approaches:
      1. "Deconstruction"
      2. "Feminine Voices"
      • What distinguishes these two approaches to counter cinema?
  • Group 2: In both Kuhn's discussion of the feminine voice and Mulvey's essay on the gaze, the significance of "relations of looking" are important. In other words, they look at how power and pleasure can be signified by who looks and who is looked at. Who controls the gaze in Vagabond? Who is the more powerful figure? How is that reflected in their gazes? Does Mona connote "to-be-looked-at-ness", in Mulvey's sense of that phrase?
    • Here are some instances of significant "looks" in the film:
      • The men looking at Mona as she emerges from the sea, naked.
      • Mona looking at a police car and hiding, in the online clip.
      • The laborer looking at her dead body at the start.
      • Mona and the young man at the garage looking at each other.
Looks in Vagabond
Mona looks at police car, flees.
Mona looks at police car, flees.  
Police car.
Police car.  
Laborer looks at Mona.
Laborer looks at Mona.  
Mona's body.
Mona's body.  
Mona looks.
Mona looks.  
A young man returns Mona's look.
A young man returns Mona's look.  
Two men look at Mona dressing.
Two men look at Mona dressing.  

Pro-feminist or anti-feminist?

  1. Just because a film is made by a woman does not mean it will necessarily be feminist. Do you think that Vagabond is pro-feminist? Why or why not?
  2. If, indeed, it is a feminist film, into which category does it fit? (These categories may overlap.)
    1. Documentary
    2. Socialist Realist
    3. Women's cinema as counter cinema

Vagabond cast

With humorous machine translations from http://translate.google.com

  • Actor ... role
  • Sandrine Bonnaire ... Mona Bergeron, homeless or law
  • Setti Ramdane ... the Moroccan found
  • Francis Balchère ... a gendarme
  • Jean-Louis Perletti ... another
  • Urbain Causse ... a farmer interviewed
  • Christophe Alcazar ... another brûleyrr gap
  • Dominique Durand ... the first biker
  • Joël Fosse ... the other, Paulo, Yolande lover
  • Patrick Schmit ... the truck driver
  • Daniel Bos ... The wrecker
  • Katy Champaud ... the girl at the pump
  • Raymond Roulle ... Old Match
  • Henri Fridlani ... the gravedigger
  • Patrick Sokol ... yellow sandwich man
  • Pierre Imbert ... the garage
  • Richard Imbert ... His son
  • Martha Jarnias ... Old Aunt Lydia
  • Yolande Moreau ... Yolande, good
  • Gabriel Mariani ... Its B.I.O.N.N.E.T. uncle AIMÉ
  • Patrick Lepcynski ... David, the juifferrant
  • Sylvaine Berger ... the Bergers
  • Michèle Doumeche ... P. .. on the road
  • Sabine ... the Bergers
  • Macha Méril ... Ms. platonologne the Landier
  • Pierette Soler ... The lady who spoke to her husband
  • Pierre Emonnot ... The governor not happy
  • Stéphane Freiss ... Jean-Pierre, ingéneuragronome
  • Laurence Cortadellas ... his wife Eliane
  • Emmanuel Protopopoff ... the donor backpacker-of-blood
  • Vincent Sanchez ... nurse
  • Michel Constantial ... The boxes réigisseur
  • 'Garibaldi' Fernández ... The mason to cap round
  • Alain Roussel ... Man-of-wood, violent
  • Yahiaoui Assouna ... Yahiaoui 'Assoun' Assoun, tailor devinges
  • Aimée Chisci ... The governor of the mas
  • Marguerite Chisci ... His wife TV and laundry
  • Geneviève Bonfils ... the suspicious passenger
  • Christian Chessa ... The fool-Mac, a station
  • Setina Arhab ... the fool
  • Jacques Berthier ... The little gentleman well-placed
  • Olivier Jongerlinck ... racketeur in the photo
  • Rémi Leboucq ... The customer racket
  • Jean Dambrin ... the trichlomane
  • Bébert Samcir ... harmonica player

Bibliography

External links