Two hours from 17:00 to 19:00h on the longest day of the year in the life of a young Parisienne is presented. Florence Victoire, who is better known by her stage name Cléo Victoire (as in Cleopatra), is a singer with three hit singles to her name, and as such some renown. Two days ago, she went in for some tests for abdominal issues to see if it is cancer. She will be getting the results today at 18:30h. She is certain that it will be a terminal cancer diagnosis, her mind fixated on that outcome and what it actually means. This belief affects how she approaches the day, from her encounters with friends and acquaintances to what she observes in total strangers around her. It could be as simple as how she views the lyrics to new songs presented to her from her songwriting team, to her feelings about a conversation she overhears in a café between a couple having relationship problems, to the typical sweet nothings spoken to her from her lover, José. There are certain things that do ...Written by
Ranked number 44 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018. See more »
After the rehearsal scene, when the pianist (Michel Legrand) says "self-pitying spoiled child," the shot is a composite. Michel's head and the background in front of him is one shot, and the background behind him is another shot, which pans towards Cleo after he speaks his line. The clocks on the ledge behind Michel can be briefly seen in two places at once. See more »
Cléo de 5 à 7's black and white Paris is an elegant backdrop to this moving, unique story of self-discovery.
As the title reveals, Cléo de 5 à 7 takes place between 5pm and 7pm. In this time, we follow a beautiful young singer, Florence 'Cléo' Victoire, as she walks the busy streets of Paris all the while awaiting a dreaded test result from her doctor.
Director Agnes Varda, nicknamed "Grandmother of the New Wave", combines fluid camera movements with sporadic 'jump cuts' to casually glide us through the streets of Paris, allowing us to delve deep into the scenery. The mobile camera provides a realistic and intimate experience.
Florence 'Cléo' Victoire begins her journey embodying a cliché. She is consumed by materialism and almost hypnotized by her own beauty. She is selfish and ignorant to her surroundings. From 5 to 7, Cléo peers deep within herself and in result experiences a kind of enlightenment. She begins to open her eyes to the outside world, observing the hectic streets of Paris, visiting old friends, and in a twist of fate meets a fascinating young soldier preparing to leave for Algeria. The soldier is a beautifully written character.
With subtext involving serious topics such as classism and more specifically impoverishment of Algerians (1954-62), one would predict that the film's message was multifaceted, and perhaps intended to serve a cause.However, after watching the film, I've come to that conclusion that Cléo de 5 à 7 is meant to be a celebration of life. The film encourages us to appreciate our blessings without the use of any clichés and without being preachy.
Cléo de 5 à 7's black and white Paris is an elegant backdrop to this moving, unique story of self-discovery. If you are a French New Wave lover or just someone who adores Paris, I'd encourage you to watch this film. It is simply stunning.
-Joanna C.T. http://addictivefilm.blogspot.com/
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