Monday, October 27, 2008

Cleo from 5 to 7

This film was directed by Agnes Varda. She was the only woman among the French new wave directors. She was born in 1928. Interestingly, she just had a film play at Venice and Toronto film festivals. She was a still photographer before she became a director. Before she started making films she had only seen 20-30 films in her lifetime! (Can't believe that!!) This was her second film.

The main character is Cleo. It is very hard to emphatize with her. She seems very self involved throughout the film.The film takes place in 1962, during a "real" two hour period. In the film we see Cleo as she spends the hours between 5 and 7. She is waiting to go to the doctor to find out her test results to see if she does indeed have cancer, and if so what her treatment options are. Varda was inspired bu the painting of Death and the Maiden. The lead actress was also nspired by the same painting. Death is constantly looming over Cleo, it seems to consume her thoughts and actions.

We see Cleo try to go between her life as an actress (famous person), her own real life and the streets of Paris. When cleo goes into the cafe, she plays her own song on the jukebox, and walks around hoping someone will see her and realize it is her song playing. She gets very irritated when no one notices her or the song. She is very vain. She is quoted as saying "ugliness is a kind of death".

We are almost forced to not be at one with her, we see her documented. The film goes back and forth between the protaganist and he environment. The film is relatively fast paced, however, when Cleo enters the park the films seems to slow down. Almost as if for the first time she is calmer, maybe her thoughts are no longer racing. She rushes around to see the doctor, who spends a total of 30 seconds with her. He tells her she has cancer and will be fine with treatent.

This film was reall quite depressing. She is constantly worrying about her possible impending death, and yet that seem to be unable to stop her from being vain and self centered. I did find it very interesting and entertaining how the film took place in real time. you don't see that very often.

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