“Cleo from 5 to 7” is a 1962 French Left Bank film by Agnes Varda. The story starts with a young Parisian pop singer, Florence “Cleo” Victoire (Corinne Marchand) as she waits to hear the results of a medical test that will possibly confirm a diagnosis of cancer. The film is noted for its handling of several of the themes of existentialism, including discussions of mortality, the idea of despair, and leading a meaningful life. The film also has a strong feminine viewpoint belonging to French feminism and raises questions about how women are perceived, especially in French society.
The cast includes Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray, Dorothee Blank, Michel Legrand, and Jose Luis de Villalonga.
“Agnes Varda’s skilfully captures Paris at the height of the 1960s in this intriguing tale expertly presented in real time about a singer whose life is in turmoil as she awaits a test result from a biopsy. As Cleo readies herself to meet with her doctor, she meets several friends and strangers, and grapples with her idea of her own mortality,” writes the Genesis Cinema website.
The film includes cameos by Jean-Luc Godard, Anna Karina, Eddie Constantine and Jean-Claude Brialy as characters in the silent film “Raoul.”
Slant magazine says, “All throughout, Varda captures the fairy-tale essence of early ’60s Paris with a vivacity and richness that rivals Godard’s ‘Breathless.’ Unlike her New Wave compatriots, whose talents were reared in part at film schools, Varda was trained in the field of photography and consequently films the city with a completely unique vision. Her framing teems with life at every corner: kittens wrestling in Cleo’s apartment, a child playing a tiny piano in an alleyway, and quarrelling lovers in a cafe.”
Agnes Varda is a Belgian-born French film director. Her films, photographs, and art installations focus on documentary realism, feminist issues, and social commentary with a distinctive experimental style. She has spent most of her working life in France. Film historians have cited Varda’s work as central to the development of the French New Wave; her employment of location shooting and non-professional actors was unconventional in the context of 1950s French cinema. Her films use protagonists that are marginalized or rejected members of society and are documentarian in nature.
While the film takes place in France, away from the Algerian front, the influence of Algerian war for independence is still strong. The war greatly affected France during the 1950s and 1960s where the demands for decolonization were the strongest.
The film opens on September 3, 2018, at Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Rd, London E1 4UJ, United Kingdom
For details, visit https://genesiscinema.co.uk/GenesisCinema.dll/Home
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the film.
Founder: Louise Blouin