Cléo de 5 à 7 ( Cleo from 5 to 7 )

Cléo de 5 à 7  ( Cleo from 5 to 7 )

Cleo from 5 to 7 is one of Agnes Varda’s more well-known films. Being the so-called grandmother of the french new wave, I felt I knew what to expect when I embarked on the viewing of this picture.

I have to admit that I was impressed with the film, yet it failed to draw me in. I wasn’t invested in Cleo at all and to me she just appeared as the shallow vain wisp of the woman that she was,completely lacking in emotional depth. I think this is why I couldn’t empathize with her, share in her anxiety, torment, frustration or vanity because I felt no sympathy for her plight.

Visually the film is impressive although not in a spectacular way but in the way that Agnes has captured the mundane and raised it to what seems epic proportions.

There is a scene were Cleo feels that everyone is watching her, the scene starts in restaurant, flows onto a street and ends in a sculpture cleo 5-7 1studio where I swear it actually looks like the nudes butt crack is watching Cleo as well.

Godard and Anna Karina make a cameo in a silent film within the film, which to be honest I didn’t think was very funny.

For some reason this film fell flat for me, I was discussing it with my “all Knowing teenage daughter” and we compared it to films by Nicolas Winding Refn or Paul Thomas Anderson. I have come to the conclusion that the downfall of this film is the casting of Corinne Marchand as Cleo because with all of the best artistry in the world, if the actor is not going to play their role to perfection, the film will more than likely not be as good as it can be. 

I’m looking forward to viewing the rest of Agnes’ collection, especially Vagabond.









2 thoughts on “Cléo de 5 à 7 ( Cleo from 5 to 7 )

  1. I have to disagree with you on this one, which is one of my favorites. The whole point of the movie, I think, is that Cleo is a “shallow, vain, wisp of a woman” at the BEGINNING of the film (her line about thinking that she can’t die as long as she’s beautiful is telling) but that she undergoes a profound transformation, one where she learns to take control over her own image and not merely be an object to be looked, over the course of the film. I’d recommend watching it again. It’s a subtle film that gets better with repeat viewing.

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