J but Spooky’s review published on Letterboxd:
Before I really get into the review- I really loved "Mur Murs", Agnes Varda's ninth feature film (which translates to Wall Walls, in English), and I really knew I was going to before I even put it on, because I generally love documentariew, or any film, about art, the artistic process, or why artists create. And I have observed, over time, that there are two types of art documentary- the first is the selfish art doc, the beautifully indulgent "Shirkers" (2018) or Varda's own "Faces, Places"- artists exploring their own art, where their inspiration comes from. These films are great but there's even better content to come from the genre.
There's Wender's "The Buena Vista Social Club" and Varda's "Mur Murs" films about others, and why they create the art they do. "Mur Murs" has a particularly endearing feeling of community but a very interesting take on Los Angeles' mural-painters that can be applied to art at large. We all know art is self expression, and that "self" is formed from years of life experience- but what about art as preservation? Preservation of cultures and ways of life. In the film, children's communities are decorated with all of their lineage- take this quote from the film "many of our Chicano young people cannot identify with the Mexican nation, but can not identify with what is called an American, and that anguish, and that anxiety is very valid, and these murals express that anxiety, that anguish."
Or maybe art as revenge? Revenge on the people who brutally killed your 16 year old brother? A piece that could commemorate the loss of those you're close to and spite those who's hand they died by simultaneously? Or maybe those go hand in hand. Or art as a means of talking about history? A piece that can summarise the events of Watergate that can still let you take all of the artistic liberties you wish to? Or art as a way to express your beliefs? A way to reconcile your literal religious beliefs and belief in something like Hollywood. Or just away to draw attention to your favourite actors?
Art can be whatever you or it wants. Which includes, of course, being on the walls.