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Cleo from 5 to 7

(French with English subtitles): After watching Agnes Varda in Faces Places, I decided I wanted to see some of her early films; she is widely credited with being one of the key filmmakers in the French New wave film movement. This film, shot in real time, follows Cleo, a self-absorbed pop singer who is evaluating her life due to a recent test for cancer. During this evening, she is due to get her results. The film is told in 5-6 minute “Chapters”, starting at 5:00 PM, and during each, she interacts with friends, musicians, taxi drivers, and others, all the while being reflecting on the meaning of her illness. There are some wonderful things about the film, including the way particular scenes are shot (especially those that involve mirrors, and I loved the first scene of the movie with the tarot card reader) and the introspection Cleo engages in as she deals with the potentially bad news that awaits her. I loved the ending and how it captures the potential magic in tragic moments. Thumbs up from me – I will be looking for more of her films.

About Gary Burkholder

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