What is it about?

Varda's "The Gleaners and I" and "Two years later" are magnificent documentaries. But how has Agnes Varda managed to impose structure on what appear to be a series of somewhat randomly filmed meetings? In fact, scenes are subtly but robustly held together by the overarching "source-path-goal" schema. This schema, characterized by beginning-middle-end, is recruited to convey (1) literal movement; (2) the progress of time; (3) the achievement of a goal; and (4) the telling of a story.

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Why is it important?

The JOURNEY metaphor is one of only a handful conceptual metaphors that human beings use time and again to structure the notion of "trying to achieve a goal." Varda's creative genius turns this age-old metaphor in a fresh and deeply moving documentary.


I am fascinated by the JOURNEY metaphor, and have (co)written several papers and chapters on it.

Dr Charles Forceville
Universiteit van Amsterdam

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This page is a summary of: The JOURNEY Metaphor and the Source-Path-Goal Schema in Agnès Varda’s Autobiographical GLEANING Documentaries: Charles Forceville, March 2012, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.4324/9780203815809-23.
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