French Film Fridays: Cléo de 5 à 7
Agnès Varda – Cléo De 5 à 7
As autumn looms, the days get shorter and the evenings colder, and we get closer to the season of curling up in front of the TV to watch a film. French cinema is famous for its artistic and unique style and has produced an abundance of must-see films. This week, we invite you to take a tour of Paris through the eyes of acclaimed French director Agnès Varda in her Nouvelle Vague drama Cléo de 5 à 7 (1961).
Set on a summer’s evening in the 1960s, the film gives us a fleeting glimpse into a collection of moments in the life of the materialistic and self-centred protagonist Cléo (Corinne Marchand), who, while awaiting some medical test results, is forced to consider her place in the world. The camera follows her closely as she wanders around Paris, capturing not only her changing attitude towards herself and others, but also the warmth and vitality of the ever-shifting city which surrounds her. The film is therefore not just a portrait of the consciousness of a young woman, but also a snapshot of the people and things which filled Paris with life on 21st June 1961, as it freezes the sights, sounds, words, worries and joys of that day in time. The film received two nominations at the Festival de Cannes, which was in no small part due to the meditative and bewitching style with which Varda captures the city of Paris.