Thurdsay, March 11
Presented in association with the UC Irvine Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies:
MEMORIAL TRIBUTE TO ANNE FRIEDBERG
THE GLEANERS AND I (LES GLANEURS ET LA GLANEUSE)
6:15 p.m. Reception, Humanities Gateway Courtyard
7:00 p.m. Screening, preceded by shared remembrances of Dr. Anne Friedberg and UC Irvine Visual Studies with Rhona Berens (former chair, Film and Media Studies, UCI), Julia Bryan-Wilson (Director, Visual Studies), James Herbert (Art History, UCI), Lucas Hilderbrand (Film and Media Studies, UCI), Sheila Murphy (University of Michigan), Mark Poster (Emeritus, Film and Media Studies/History/Critical Theory, UCI), Howard Rodman (USC School of Cinematic Arts)
Voted "Best Documentary of 2001" by the National Society of Film Critics
Although The Gleaners and I takes its cue from the eponymous 1867 painting by Jean-François Millet, in this feature-length documentary shot in present-day Paris, Agnès Varda redefines the term "gleaners" as she delves with her mini-dv camera into a world most of us seldom pause to contemplate - that of scavenging in city streets and country fields for cast-off food and household objects. In the process, she experiments with the notion of film shooting as an act of gleaning, and alters her working dynamic with on-camera subjects. Of her experience, Varda comments: "This film is a documentary woven from various strands: from emotions I felt when confronted wtih precariousness; from the possibilities offered by the new small digital cameras; and from the desire to film what I can see of myself - my aging hands and my grey hair. I also wanted to express my love for painting. I had to piece it together and make sense out of it all in the film, without betraying the social issue that I had set out to address - waste and trash: who finds a use for it? how? can one live on the leftovers of others?"
Occasionally called the "grandmother of the French New Wave," the Belgian-born but longtime Parisian resident Agnès Varda began her film career directing documentaries in the provincial territories of France. Best known for her 1961 free-flowing fictional portrait of Parisian cabaret singer Corinne Marchand, CLÉO, DE 5 À 7 (1961), and celebrated for her exploration of women's companionship in ONE SINGS, THE OTHER DOESN'T ( L'UNE CHANTE, L'AUTRE PAS, 1976), Varda also contributed in important ways to the early development of Cuban cinema (SALUT LES CUBAINS, 1963) and to the documentation of the civil rights militancy in the United States (BLACK PANTHERS, 1968). Over the last two decades, she has directed her eye to portraits of French artists and public personalities, both famous (THE WORLD OF JACQUES DEMY, 1995) and encountered in everyday life (QUELQUES VEUVES DE NOIRMOUTIER, 2006). Her most recent film, THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS (2008), will soon be released in Los Angeles.
Anne Friedberg (1952-2009) served on the faculty of Film and Media Studies from 1985 to 2003. A co-founder of the Ph.D. Program in VIsual Studies - a field she helped to shape with her publications WINDOW SHOPPING: CINEMA AND THE POSTMODERN (1994) and THE VIRTUAL WINDOW: FROM ALBERTI TO MICROSOFT (2006) - Dr. Friedberg was the very first director of the Film and Video Center at UC Irvine from fall 1997 to 2000. She will be deeply missed by many faculty, staff, and former students of the UC Irvine campus community.