Modernism + Film | Mur Murs
After returning to Los Angeles from France in 1979, Agnès Varda created this kaleidoscopic documentary about the striking murals that decorate the city. Bursting with color and vitality, Mur Murs is as much an invigorating study of community and diversity as it is an essential catalog of unusual public art.
The vast majority of the scenes of the film are shots of murals, all are located in the city of Los Angeles, often with the mural's painter or model staged in front of the mural for dramatic effect. The film alternates between voiceover narration by Agnès Varda and commentary about the murals provided by the murals' creators, as well as commentary provided by locals living in the area. The film includes several musical performances, including by the Chicano punk band Los Illegals. A significant amount of the film's attention is focused on work by Chicano artists, although artists from other backgrounds are also covered extensively. The film also dwells on the role of state violence, both as it affects the communities the murals are situated in and the murals themselves.
The film's title is a pun: literally "Wall Walls" in French, Varda suggests that the murals on the walls are, in fact, murmuring to each other.
Runtime: 1 hour 20 minutes
Director: Agnès Varda
Parental Guide: PG-13
Mur Murs was restored by the Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata in association with Ciné-Tamaris and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by the Annenberg Foundation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and The Film Foundation.
Tickets are $8 members, $10 nonmembers, and $5 with valid school I.D. Cash bar available in the Bechtler lobby starting at 6:00 PM followed by the presentation and film screening in the Knight Theater at 7 PM. Purchase tickets online at Bechtler.org or call 704.353.9209.