Instead, she emphasizes the space attained by Cléo; one in which she is in control of her self-representation, of how she views herself and of how others view her. As a result, there is sort of a time capsule quality to it. There's still a tenuous nature to Cléo's life, and she has a hard road ahead, but she's prepared to face it with a new sense of purpose centered on an emerging identity as a social human being. width: 71%; padding-bottom: 15px; As Audre Lorde writes from her own experience with cancer, women’s spiritual transformations are undermined and de-emphasized in order to prioritize the aesthetically preferred; prosthesis, wigs and plastic surgery. } Prepare to heap your queue up with this abundance of documentary offerings.

The line between chapters is permeable, prone to slippage; there are no hard boundaries, only the minute hand running slowly through time toward a destination that Cléo both anticipates and dreads. Instead of remaining at the café, Cléo goes to a sculpting studio to visit her old friend, Dorothée, who is modelling nude for an artist. is unhurried, it is not lazy: the afternoon marches forward, minute by minute, each interval announcing itself by way of titles superimposed over the (in)action. Cléo stands apart, her own reflection torn in two by the shattered glass. @media only screen and ( min-width: 981px ) { We watch as she performs exercises in a fluffy white robe out of mere routine than for any notable physical benefit.

Coming in the midst of the new wave, Cléo from 5 to 7 seemed to embody the prime obsession of all the young cinema movements of the sixties: to evoke the eternal present, flashing by in a sustained intensity.

Cléo commonly complains that no one takes her seriously since she's a woman, and that the men think that she's faking her illness for attention.

Barbara Ehrenreich, “Welcome to Cancerland” in Harpers, November, 2001. line-height: 15px; Susan Sontag, “Illness as Metaphor” in The New York Review of Books, January 26, 1978.

She's no longer only focused on being viewed but by the ability to view.

What matters is Cléo’s state of mind, and her anxious attempts to distract herself from the test results waiting for her at the end of the afternoon: the way she turns her head when she catches sight of herself in the mirror, trying on hats; the way she listens for others’ comments about her music when it plays in public; her tears when she remembers her anxiety and fear; her laughter when she forgets herself completely. Varda facilitates Cléo’s journey to struggle and resist in order to seek healing and re-envisionment. There's still a war going on and there's the chance Cléo's medical problem will return, but she now has a grasp on her identity and self as a member of society. There are other dramas, too. } Confronting the gendered constraints placed on the cancer afflicted woman at the time, Varda boldly creates a narrative that resists the silencing of women’s experiences in favour of complex transformation and growth. Her journey through Paris can be mapped by location and acquaintances.

Bob goes to the piano, and they begin to practice some of Cléo's songs. .art-social-foot { “Caprice, caprice, that's all you say... but it's you who make me capricious.

All the while, unexpected quick cuts, skipping forward or back a few frames, betray the titular Cléo’s state of mind, demonstrating the stutter-stop of her attention, empathizing with her anxiety. And she picked the best possible site for this gauntlet walk: the Left Bank of Paris is preserved for us in all its early sixties vibrancy and diversity. .art-content { The theme of illness in the film becomes a terrain on which to contest the function, desirability and validity of a woman’s selfhood in a patriarchal society that constrains how she presents herself and processes her emotions. @media only screen and ( min-width: 768px ) and ( max-width: 980px ) { border: 0; Unlike the scene with her lover in the bedroom, it's more natural, the framing less artificially structured. border-radius: 40px; There have been many films, from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1948) to Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark (2002), devoted to the challenge of capturing or reconstituting the experience of “real time.” Agnès Varda’s 1961 Cléo from 5 to 7—an account of an hour and a half in the life of a normally carefree young woman who is gravely awaiting a medical diagnosis—is one of them, but it dispenses with the single-camera-take concept that Hitchcock cleverly faked (and that Sokurov would heroically maintain); it is as jazzily photographed and busily edited as any more conventional narrative film. She can live for herself, as a member of society. They connect simply as people. On this afternoon, nothing could be further from Cleo's mind than sex. @media only screen and ( max-width: 479px ) { Cléo is expected to portray multiple identities: singer, beauty queen, lover, and companion—none of which is ultimately fulfilling. To many citizens of mid-20th century France, Algeria was viewed as not just a colony, but a legitimate part of France. Two Bremen concerts by groups led by bassist and composer Charles Mingus in 1964 and 1975 remind us of the longevity and vitality of his brilliance. display: block;

font-size: 22px; }

Her camera concerns itself with the wants and desires of the figures in focus, making them subjects instead of objects, regardless of the length of time they spend on screen: old men in cafes have worries and cares, inner lives that go beyond their outward old age; young women posing nude for sculptures are given both bodies and souls, and afforded the same dignity and respect they would have received as if they were clothed. 3. font-size: 22px; It is as much a postcard of Paris during the 1960s as the story of a personal drama about existential questions. She's able to develop and escape from the confines of films such as 400 Blows, La Jetée, Breathless, and Vivre sa Vie. }

And this heart time swells in the course of the film, ultimately transcending the mundaneness – and the menace – of everyday entropy. Celebrate People's History Vol. ul.share-buttons .sr-only { /* ----------------------------------------- */ } } } And this heart time swells in the course of the film, ultimately transcending the mundaneness––and the menace––of everyday entropy. Varda deliberately gave her a “superficial” vocation as a pop singer, with a good deal of privilege (her older, presumably well-off lover wafts in and out without making any demands), and what, on any normal day, would count as a fairly whimsical set of errands and tasks (shopping, rehearsal, visits to friends). } Why does she both seemingly embrace her celebrity and deny it? The story starts with a young singer, Florence "Cléo" Victoire, at 5pm on June 21, as she waits until 6:30pm to hear the results of a medical test that will possibly confirm a diagnosis of cancer. Cléo de 5 à 7 follows a young pop singer, for whom the film is named, over the course of two hours (Varda, in fact, toys with time, as the film’s run time is really 90 minutes), as she awaits the results of a biopsy. Cléo from 5 to 7 is a 1962 French Left Bank film written and directed by Agnès Varda. .wpv-loop { display: -webkit-flex; /* Safari 8 */ However, they are more accurate. . [4] The soldier who Cléo meets towards the end of the film, Antoine, is on temporary leave from fighting in Algeria. She becomes isolated in the shot, a face framed against a black backdrop, almost aware of the attention being put on her self. .art-subtitle {

Why are some shots in overly saturated, expensive color and the rest in black and white?

line-height: 27px; padding: 0; Cléo from 5 to 7 cannot tell me anything about living through a global crisis: Cléo’s experience is worlds and lifetimes away from mine. The name of the movie is not A Young Woman from 5 to 7 or Florence (Cléo’s given name) from 5 to 7: it is Cléo from 5 to 7. However, Antoine shares a similar situation to Cléo. padding-bottom: 30px;

Varda quietly follows her wanderings about Paris, but not in the conventional discrete fashion of Hollywood montage sequences. It is clear what her films share with those Right Bank, more mainstream new wavers: a breathtaking ability to swing in a moment from light to dark, comic to dramatic moods, and a taste for the handheld camera, capturing on-the-run scenes shot spontaneously in the streets of Paris.

Cléo finally discovers this confidence and ability of her self when she encounters the young soldier, Antoine. Cléo cries in the café, even though there are people around, including the owner of the café. line-height: 25px; She stops in front of a window that has just been pierced by a bullet, her face broken up by the lines of the shattered glass.

Cléo loves and suffers—and it is hard not to identify with her agonized wait for the medical word that will decide her future—but she’s also petulant, frivolous, vain, scatty. clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px); She meets her maid, Angèle, at a café and recounts the results of the tarot card reading, claiming that if it's cancer, she'll kill herself. She is currently a staff writer at Sophomore magazine. These definitions are dictated by the characters around her, on whom she relies for guidance and validation. The feelings will go dark, forgotten, but the gestures and the people I performed them with will remain. “Cléo” (a nickname, short for Cleopatra) captures the woman’s soul: beautiful, regal, charming and even flirtatious, with the weight of her own world on her shoulders.