chapter  14
17 Pages

The JOURNEY Metaphor and the Source-Path-Goal Schema in Agnès Varda’s Autobiographical GLEANING Documentaries: Charles Forceville


Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (The Gleaners and I, dir. Agnès Varda, 2000) was a remarkable success, in both the director’s native country France and abroad. The many enthusiastic reactions Varda received in response to the documentary inspired her to make a sequel, Les glaneurs et la glaneuse . . . deux ans après (The Gleaners and I: Two Years Later, 2002). The fi lms are unusual in their apparently episodic structure and in the high degree of interpretative freedom spectators seem to enjoy. In fact, however, Varda’s two non-fi ctional “road movies” (see Cohan & Hark 1997) are profoundly structured by two interrelated conceptual metaphors. The fi rst one is a life is a journey (Lakoff 1993: 223; Johnson 1993: 167), which-since it is the goal-pursuing aspect of life that is at stake here-I will reformulate as a quest is a journey. The second metaphor that helps impose coherence on Varda’s complex fi lms is a story is a journey. In order to capture the interrelations between the two metaphors, it is necessary to examine the schema that underlies their central elements, quest, story and journey: the “Source-Path-Goal” schema.