Hilltop Happenings

Vivid Visages Abound as 'Faces Places' Gets NJ Premiere in Summit Feb. 9

Agnés Varda and JR. Credits: facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup/photos

SUMMIT, NJ - Equal parts breezily charming and poignantly powerful, the documentary "Faces Places" will enjoy its New Jersey premiere in Summit February 9 at 8 p.m.

The unique, cross-generational portrait of life in rural France comes from directors Agnès Varda and JR, the pseudonym of an photographer and artist whose actual identity is unknown. In JR’s boxy van, on which he painted a huge image of a camera, JR and Varda embark on various excursions around the French countryside and in French villages.

They meet dockworkers in Le Havre and factory workers near Chateau Arnoux.. JR photographs these subjects and blows up the resulting images to enormous scale, affixing the photos to the sides of buildings, barns and rail cars.  The road trips, in Varda’s words, are a way of “expressing our imaginations on their turf.” The genuine affection and respect between these two shines in each new encounter.

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Agnès Varda and JR have things in common: a passion for and the exploration of images in general, and more precisely, for places and for ways of showing, sharing, and exhibiting them. Varda chose cinema. JR chose to create open air photography galleries. When they met in 2015, they immediately wanted to work together, to shoot a film in France, far from cities, during a trip in JR's photographic -- and magical -- truck.

Through chance encounters and prepared projects, they reached out to others, listening to them, photographing them, and sometimes putting them on posters. This film also tells the story of Varda's and JR's friendship, which grew stronger throughout the film shoot, between surprises and teasing, and while laughing about their differences. 

Presented by The Film Society of Summit, "Faces Places" will be screened at MONDO, located at 426 Springfield Avenue, with tickets priced at $12 in advance and $14 at the door. To reserve tickets, contact Summitfilm@gmail.com.


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