Paper & Glue

USA 2021, 95 mins
Director: JR

+ pre-recorded Q&A with director JR

In Paper & Glue, JR turns the camera on his own work as he builds some of his most monumental projects.

From early illicit graffiti videos captured on Paris rooftops at night, to the US-Mexico border, to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, to a current collaboration at a California supermax prison, the film follows JR as he turns these communities inside out, turning images of residents into eye-catching and immersive art installations. Paper & Glue follows the Oscar-nominated Faces Places, which was directed by JR along with Agnès Varda.

JR on ‘Paper & Glue’
Paper & Glue is a film that challenges viewers’ perceptions by lifting the voices of people and places that are often overlooked. The film is the culmination of years of my work and includes an archive of photography and videos that span back to my adolescence. At the time of many of these recordings, I had no intention or awareness they could be used in this way.

To have my work come full circle exemplifies the power of film, and the power of Paper & Glue. I hope this film further uplifts the essentiality of art and the potential it holds to reshape even our most ingrained beliefs. By challenging our expectations of people and places, I hope to change our greater perceptions of the world.

Keiko Deguchi (Editor) on ‘Paper & Glue’
I have always been fascinated by the artistic process, so working on this film was pure joy for me. JR has amassed a vast archive of his work over the past twenty years, and what I especially enjoyed about watching the archive was seeing how his art affected his subjects, particularly marginalised people, and witnessing their pride and joy. It was infectious as I screened the raw material.

My hope was to create a film that condenses those feelings and weaves them into a coherent feature-length film. Due to Covid-19, we couldn’t do as much new shooting as we initially planned, so we relied heavily on the archive. Fortunately, the archive had many precious moments, such as when Rosiete from the favela in Brazil sees herself on the wall of a prestigious museum in Rio, or when the inmate in Tehachapi realises that the important part of art is the process.

JR is also a great storyteller, so we relied on his voice to create a sense of intimacy as if he is talking directly to you. His art is spectacular without any of the backstories, and I wanted to make sure that the film does justice to his artwork as well. Building the reveal of the final pasting was just as important to me. I hope we were able to create a film that encapsulated JR’s inspirational art and the richness of the stories and emotions behind them.
Production notes

A JR project
An Imagine Documentaries production
In Association with: Time Studios, Shark Island Institute Produced by: Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Dallas Brennan Rexer, Marc Azoulay
Executive Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Lauren Haber, Lynne Benioff, Marc Benioff, Ian Orefice, Ian Darling, Jim & Susan Swartz, Patty Quillin, Regina K. Scully, Patty Quillin, Marco Berrebi, Rashida Jones, Amanda Spain
Co-Executive Producers: Meredith Kaulfers, Paula Froehle, Steve Cohen, Nina & David Fialkow, Camille Pajot, Julie Pugeat
Line Producer: Travis Eilerson
Edited by: Keiko Deguchi, ACE
Lead Assistant Editor: Amina Ouchater
Post-producer: Jeremy Zerechak
Music by: Adam Peters


USA 2021
95 mins

Preview: Paper & Glue + prerecorded Q&A with director JR
Tue 1 Mar 18:00
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Mon 7 Mar 18:10
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Mon 7 Mar 20:35
Hive+ pre-recorded Q&A with filmmakers
Tue 8 Mar 18:15
TV Preview: Gentleman Jack Series 2 + Q&A with writer Sally Wainwright and actors Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle
Wed 9 Mar 18:10
GFF International Women’s Day Gala: Happening (L’evenement) + Pre-recorded Q&A with Director Audrey Diwan
Wed 9 Mar 20:40
TV Preview: Inside No. 9 + Q&A with creators Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, and executive producer Adam Tandy
Fri 11 Mar 20:40
GFF Closing Gala: Murina
Sun 13 Mar 19:00

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
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