Class Eight: The Gleaners and I (Agnes Varda, 2000, France)

More by Varda

Sadly, The Gleaners and I is not available on Kanopy or in the UW library collection, but they do have two copies in the Winnipeg Public Library (WPL) collection. Work together and share! And do remember that Varda’s The Gleaners and I: Two Years Later is on the same DVD and you are more than welcome to write on that as well or to include it in your discussions of the first film.

If you want to get a sense of her other work, Kanopy does have both Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962) and 1965’s Le bonheur. These are both also available on DVD as well, from Criterion, and you can read the essays on each here and here. Finally, if you want to dive deep into Varda’s filmography, Criterion offers two boxsets. One includes La pointe courte (1956) and Vagabond (1985) – the latter is a film that connects in very interesting ways with Gleaners. The other boxset documents her time in California. Both of these boxsets, I think, are in the WPL collection.

For a Varda film that is even more retrospective than Gleaners, check out The Beaches of Agnes (2009), in which not only does she reflect on her own career, but shows her recent gallery and installation work. I believe that Beaches is still available via Netflix.


Varda has been making films since the early 1950s, so nearly everyone is her contemporary in one way or another, but I’ll point again to two films directed by her husband Jacques Demy: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and the Young Girls of Rochefort, both of which you must watch at some point because they are extraordinary. They are, in many ways, nothing like Varda’s films, but they are also interesting for precisely this reason.

On Varda

Scholarly writing on Varda is plentiful. An MLA, Project Muse, or general search should turn up quality material. Back in 2009, Film Studies for Free put together a post of Varda links that contains some first rate stuff. YouTube also contains a number of interviews with Varda, from this 2004 intro and discussion at the European Graduate School that specifically addresses The Gleaners and I to this 2013 interview at the Getty Institute in Los AngelesĀ  in which she discusses her relationship with Art History quite extensively to this radio interview with the great Isabelle Huppert, if your French is up to it!

If you are looking for a book-length overview of Varda’s work, Kelley Conway’s 2015 book from U of Illinois P is excellent.

Latest work

This entry was posted in Essay Film Spring 2017. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.