Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Agnes Varda

I have completed my recuperation with Agnes Varda’s work — I am not recuperated but that has nowt to do with Agnes films and everything to do with a poxy set of lungs.

La Pointe Courte invigorated me despite the pleura protest. So much so it’s difficult to know where to begin so I shall simply commence en pointe and jeter around the harbour. The timbre/tone of the voice is exquisite in this film, the sequences between the couple rely on a flat delivery, especially by the male, which is exceptionally effective. If the voice is devoid of emotion, suddenly the visual carries all the more significance. The faces, the movements of the body, the objects they move around all become heightened. And the curious thing is the entire exchange is dialogue, a wandering conversation where the couple try to dissect their relative positions and points of view on their relationship.

The parallel narrative has more of a documentary feel: the story of a fishing village (through which the couple weave, but the two stories are ultimately separate). The actors, who were local people, are sometimes aware they are being filmed and they carry these knowing smiles that add to what they are doing because the viewer is immersed in a documentary sense of these peoples lives, along with a dramatic narrative they are participating in. I think this melding of documentary and fiction is a perfect weave: one enriches the other in both directions.

It’s something that interests me greatly in books: how to incorporate the documentary into fiction. I believe it’s possible. I say this because when I read anthropology and sociology I am as engrossed as when I read fiction. I suspect it’s like tuning instruments together where each retains a distinct sound.

Agnes makes me curious and I love to feel curious. It’s a good, strong feeling.

One Response to “Agnes Varda”

  • Madame Beespeaker says:

    I like when science books read like good fiction. There needs to be a good narrative arc in there and since scientists sometimes have giant egos, there’s lots of drama and tension and eccentric characters to draw from. I just read a book about the migration of the monarch butterfly that I think fails in spite of having all the good components for a story–it just doesn’t have that narrative drive it could have had, which is ironic, considering the subject matter. Those amazing delicate creatures pulling their biological narrative across oceans and countries.

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