Eclipse 1980: Mur Murs

So this is a decade later than Varda’s three previous California movies?

Oh, this is a documentary about murals in Los Angeles?

This is fantastic. It’s got a free-flowing delightful kind of flow. And these murals are pretty amazing.

I’m guessing that funding for this sort of thing dried up when Reagan came into office?

Varda’s really good at… well… everything… and the subject matter is interesting. But the people she’s interviewing aren’t saying anything fascinating. So I’m getting a bit bored. It was much better at the start when it was more abstract.

As the movie progresses, it becomes a bit pedestrian? It might just come down to Varda’s music choices. The soundtrack is a total mish-mash of … everything, but nothing is distinctive or interesting.

I really love Varda’s choice of having that guy on the voice-over recite the names of the mural artists whenever we shift to a new shot. At first I didn’t quite understand — I thought he was perhaps saying what streets the murals were on? But no. It’s clever. Putting the names on the screen would be distracting, but having the guy almost-whisper their names has an impact.

Heh! It’s hare krishnas selling Alice Coltrane albums! I’ve got that one!

That is very cheap!

Amazing. There was a slaughterhouse in LA that employed two painters for 12 years (!) to paint the entire huge plant (killing 6K pigs per day) with these bucolic images.

That’s what I want my bathroom to look like!

Mur Murs. Agnès Varda. 1980.

This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.

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