Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mary Zournazi in conversation 
with Brent Clough about Agnès Varda's 
use of memory and place in film
Tuesday, 24 September 2013, hosted by UNSWriting, 6.30 - 8.30 PM
Cinema 327, 3rd Floor, John Webster Building, University of New South Wales
Next month the Memoir Club moves back to its home at the Randwick Literary Institute

"Memory is like sand in my hand," said Agnès Varda, known as the 'grandmother (and only woman director) of the French New Wave'. "If we opened people up, we'd find landscapes," she said. "If we opened me up, we'd find beaches."

Varda's consistently experimental and lyrical films over six decades are famous for opening up spaces between fictional and documentary elements, exploring borderlands, like beaches, between reality and imagination, art and politics, memory and an ethnographic gaze.

Her films include The Beaches of Agnès (2008), The Gleaners and I (2000), Vagabond (1985), Cléo From 5 to 7 (1962), and her first film La Pointe Courte (1955), a "precursor of the (Nouvelle Vague) films that Claude Chabrol, François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Goddard would start making five years later" (Ginette Vincendeau).    

In this month's Memoir Club writer and philosopher Mary Zournazi converses with Brent Clough about Agnès Varda and her notion of reminiscence and remembrance in her films, particularly The Beaches of Agnès.
Mary Zournazi is interested in how films feature the ideas of memory and place. She is a Sydney-based writer and philosopher, who teaches in the sociology program at the University of New South Wales. She is the author of several books, including Hope—New Philosophies for Change, Keywords to War—Reviving Language in an Age of Terror, and most recently (with Wim Wenders), Inventing Peace: A Dialogue on Perception (2013).

Brent Clough is a radio broadcaster, known for his documentary, music and creative audio programs on ABC Radio National. He was a recipient of the inaugural Tony Barrell Fellowship in 2012 to document the changing sounds, cultures and demographics of Brixton, South London. Brent is also a writer and DJ.

About the Memoir Club: a meeting place for readers and writers

When: last Tuesday of every month (24 September, 29 October, 26 November etc.)

Time: This month at UNSW only: 6.30 - 8.30 PM (come for a cuppa at 6pm in the foyer on the 3rd floor - remember to bring your own cup!)

Where: This month only: Cinema 327, 3rd Floor, Robert Webster Building, University of New South Wales—enter from the University Mall and go up to the 3rd floor. UNSW campus map reference G14. The Robert Webster Building is located at the midpoint of the Kensington campus, and houses the School of Arts and Media (SAM). There is parking next to NIDA, or in through Gate 14 off Barker Street. Check for signs. Public transport:

What: A communal space to meet other writers and readers and converse about all things to do with reading and writing memoir. We are interested in all kinds of life stories and in different ways of telling them. The genre of life writing and the possibilities of expanding and reworking the genre is exciting to us. Therefore we have a somewhat open and inclusive approach to what makes a memoir, and we hope you do too! Here is a space to connect with others and share ideas, questions and just hang out. Each meeting will start off with a talk, conversation or discussion about a particular topic or book, sometimes with a guest speaker or facilitator, then we move to an informal gathering and catch up.

Donation: $10 at the door for hall hire, refreshments and speakers.

Food: $15 for a plate of delicious vegetarian finger food (different each meeting).

Future Speakers: October will feature a "Members Night" of readings and storytelling, and in November Patti Miller (The Mind of a Thief) will join us. Look out for next year's program, now being developed. Do post any ideas you may have, with thanks!

RSVP: RSVP to for room and catering purposes - don't forget to say if you want to order a plate of food.

Look forward to seeing you there! Please do pass information on to anyone who might be interested in this community gathering.

mem·oir /ˈmemˌwär/
Noun. A historical account or biography written from personal knowledge. An autobiography or a written account of one's memory of certain events or people.

“I would call The Beaches of Agnès an autobiographical documentary even though it's about more than just me. It shows the people who have surrounded me, who have helped me exist, who have inspired me. There's a Gertrude Stein Book called Everybody's Autobiography. That's the kind of feeling I wanted to convey in the film.”                                                                                                                                     —Agnès Varda

"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything."
                                                                                                                                —Aaron Sussman

"A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet."
                                                                                                                                    —Orson Welles