To Agnes Varda (first letter)

Dear Ms. Varda,
I’m not sure if it’s Ms., Mrs., or what. I don’t mean to be rude. You never did take your deceased husband’s surname. I don’t know how to put the accent over the “e” in Agnes while using this computer and blogger account.
I want to tell you why your film “The Gleaners and I” means so much to me. I suppose this could very well be a fan letter but it’s also a selfish means of thinking through how I relate to what you’ve done and how it makes me want to do things I’ve never really tried before. You seem fearless in your whimsy with a mini dv camera.
This is not to say you are trying to be heroic or that perhaps you are some kind of noble idiot. You are just being you I think. Based on my own experiences and observations, I’d say that’s hard to do. Then again, perhaps it isn’t. It’s just not the route to the proverbial loot that artists generally seek (regardless of any diversity of ambitions harbored amongst them).
You think out loud and sometimes get lost. You get lost on purpose. Well, maybe it’s more of a digressive web — not that you’re spinning anything. Maybe it’s a little pathetic to be allowed a sense of your intuition, your searching, and find it so stimulating. It’s as if I’m usually deprived of that kind of intimate connection — an assurance of not being alone in thinking too much. Maybe we’re all deprived of this. It might just be me but I don’t think so.
I am so tired right now and I don’t want to get up and go to work tomorrow and maybe it would be preferable in such a state to be entertained rather than to think. I watch a lot of movies for just this purpose.
I was going to tell you how I thought the subject of “The Gleaners and I” is really a kind of meditation on another way of being despite the totality of our global shopping mall, but this would be silly — inappropriate. Analysis is not the point. I was going to explain how the film is a kind of testament to the existence of free and ethical individuals (bearing witness to the abandonment of a political economy of exchange value). But to talk like this, to pontificate, is a kind of performative displacement of the very ideas evoked by your work.
The “point” is to live rather than profess. This is not anti-intellectual or reactionary. This is a choice to forgo the accumulation of cultural capital — to stop performing and start living.
This, perhaps, is the best way to acknowledge an understanding of what you do.
Maybe I just need to go to bed for now. I wanted this to be more specific.
jeremy.