Cleo From 5 to 7 (Cléo de 5 à 7) Reviews
My university library had her two recent critically-acclaimed films, 'The Gleaners and I' and its sequel, on one DVD, and one of my favourite critics, Roger Ebert, had made a 'Great Movie' article about the original. So I gave that series a viewing, each film a separate night, and I fell in love with her as a person, and found that her films were not going to be a challenge for me at all. Thus I then turned to my previously-imposing, aforementioned boxed set, and went through it chronologically.
This, the second film of the set, was extraordinary, basically a real-time cinematic exercise of a lady who is waiting for the results of a biopsy, and thus wondering if her quality of life is going to be seriously challenged or not. In it, as I've found in all of her films so far, there's an extraordinary visual flair, a great and natural storytelling facility present, and you can really tell that Varda both loves people and is glad to be alive, and it shows in everything she does. If you are in a similar boat, and are reluctant to investigate Varda's works, please do yourself a favour and don't hesitate any longer. Appreciate this extraordinary woman and her work while she is still alive. You will never be the same.
(1962) Cleo From 5 To 7/ Cléo de 5 à 7
(In French with English subtitles)
It's called 'Cleo From 5 To 7' because 7 o'clock is supposed to be the time 'Cleo' (short from Cleopatra) get to know about her diagnosis. At the beginning, shows the radiantly beautiful, Cleo( Corinne Marchand) corresponding with a fortune teller. After Cleo leaves, without telling her what she saw on her hand, the fortune teller then tells the person sitting in the next room(I suspect is her husband) that she doesn't have very much long to live and that she sees death on her because she has cancer. Now, I just want to say that I had to re-watch the beginning a few more times because everything the fortune teller was telling Cleo, is mostly spot on. That she's singer, and that she's living with another woman who acts like a friendly colleague of some sort who is now a widow. As Cleo leaves, we then get to hear what she is thinking, and seems to appreciate her looks, as oppose to looking forward to dying. By the time she meets with her close associate the fortune teller was telling us about before, and she asks her whether it cheered her up. It doesn't, and she starts to sob on her shoulder at a coffee shop. Although, everything we know about Cleo at the start of the movie was very blatant, viewers get to subject more emphasis about her daily life and routine as she corresponds with her boyfriend and song writers, and at the same time we're still oblivious what she's diagnosed with. Viewers are subjected to a lot of nothing as she makes sense of her presence, curious about it's affecting her. throughout the time from 5PM to 7PM, the only other thing I'm going to say is that as Cleo is allowing this questionable illness to bother her, and after the movie was over whatever she was diagnosed with didn't matter much anymore. Written and directed by Agnès Varda this is a excellent examination that had never been done before, except that the only thing I was baffled about, was that despite her being the best looking person, there was only person who approached her and that was during the final 10 or 20 minutes. I mean, you would've thought more single men would've approached her.
3 out of 4 stars