Letizia Battaglia, her last name not incidentally means “battle,” has been a one-woman army fighting that decline. Through her photographs of the Mafia and the destruction it caused in her home city of Palermo — courageous because each one could have meant her death by execution, if only for having captured the soul of the unworthy, or the wrong moment in time — Battaglia has shown the world what courage, resilience and being Italian really does mean, at its highest form.Read More
“Did you like our little film?”
Agnès Varda grabs my hand and holds it between hers as I try to exit the room where I’ve just spent the last ten minutes interviewing her and artist JR about their cinematic collaboration ‘Visages, Villages’ (’Faces, Places’) which premiered “Out of Competition” in Cannes. We may have learned in the film that the filmmaker has cute little feet, but I now know she also has lovely, kind hands.
“Of course I did! Why would I have wanted to interview you otherwise?!” I hear myself say, but almost as soon as the words come out, I realize I’m telling a half truth. Yes, I loved this film, its simple premise and grand cinematography and I relished the mutual respect the legendary 88 year-old filmmaker and the anonymous 33 year-old photographer show for each other throughout their road movie around the French countryside. To me, they are the new Beatles, the rockstars of cinema’s here and now. But I also craved to be in the presence of Varda and JR and would have come to interview them even if I hadn’t enjoyed the film as much as I did. It’s Madame Varda, after all, and JR, the artist — wrap your head around this — with a million Instagram followers!Read More