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Plotting in VAGABOND
Observations on Film Art No. 29
VAGABOND, Agnès Varda’s stunning look at life on the margins, tells the story of a defiant young drifter named Mona (played by the remarkable Sandrine Bonnaire) as she embarks on a self-destructive journey in search of the ultimate freedom. In this episode of Observations on Film Art, Professor David Bordwell explores how Varda toys with multiple storytelling strategies—including road movie, investigative mystery, documentary, and network narrative (à la GRAND HOTEL and NASHVILLE)—while at the same time subverting and complicating the generic conventions of each. The result is a richly enigmatic, open-ended work that forces us to reflect on our own lives.