Agnès Varda, JR Visages, villages (Faces, Places) 2017

  • Not on view

In this film, the legendary director Varda and the photographer, muralist, and street artist JR team up to document their unique road trip across France. Taking to the highways, the pair visits small towns in a van tricked out to look like a camera, which contains a large-scale photo printer. Varda finds subjects for JR to photograph, and his images of these farmers, factory workers, and longshoremen’s wives are used like wallpaper to cover local buildings, shipping containers, and brick walls, affording a public identity to those who usually remain unknown. For Varda the journey also evokes memories of her married life with filmmaker Jacques Demy, her admiration for the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the considerable influence of director Jean-Luc Godard, which still permeates French cinema.

Varda’s filmography includes introspective narrative works that showcase the stories of women, such as Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962), Vagabond (1985), and Kung-fu Master! (1988). Throughout her career, she also directed documentaries. Like her narrative films, they dig into lives whose minor stories become monumental once memorialized by Varda. Daguerréotypes (1976) investigates the shop owners of the rue Daguerre, a small Paris street; in 2000’s The Gleaners and I, Varda comments on wastefulness in contemporary life via an examination of the struggle of the poor in modern-day France. Varda was awarded an honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015; in 2017 she received an honorary Academy Award.

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Object number

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].