HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
Red Sparrow
My Friend Dahmer
Journeyman
Heat, The
Fanged Up
Patty Hearst
   
 
Newest Articles
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
   
 
  Cléo from 5 to 7 Wandering SoulBuy this film here.
Year: 1962
Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray, Dorothée Blanck, Michel Legrand, José Luis de Vilallonga, Loye Payen, Renée Duchateau, Lucienne Marchand, Serge Korber, Robert Postec, Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Jean-Luc Godard, Sami Frey
Genre: Drama
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Cléo (Corinne Marchand) has decided to visit a tarot card reader to find out what will happen in her future, and she is told to sit down and choose nine cards from the deck. The old lady examines them and informs her they represent her past, present and future, but is quite vague on the third, telling her she is about to experience great change though not specifying what that may entail, not even after Cléo picks another three cards to clarify. However, she feels he has been told enough to confirm her suspicions about the next two hours then thanks her and leaves: out of earshot, the old lady informs her husband that Cléo does not have long to live, and indeed she has been awaiting test results...

Agnès Varda directed her first feature of note with this beguiling scrapbook of an experience which passed by in real time to show what happened to its heroine as she goes on one of those emotional journeys we're often told are important in the cinema, that the lead character must start from point A and end up at point B somehow changed. This may sound trite, but this was a perfect example of that rule, as we spend an hour-and-a-half with Cléo (not two hours - the 5 to 7 part of the title was intended to sound racy in an afternoon delight kind of way) as she starts out naïve and self-regarding, but ends up having realised that things were both as bad and not as bad as she feared.

And in that realisation, all those possibilities she expected to have been closed off to her by death might not happen at all, or rather they will happen if good fortune is with her. There was a theme about superstition running through this: to begin with, that tarot reading (the only scene of the movie to feature colour) geared us up for either Cléo to be proven correct in her largely ungrounded beliefs, or wake up to the fact that there's no way for anyone to really know the future with any great certainty, as even the stuff you expect to happen cannot be entirely relied upon, and there's always some other element that will come into play you could never have predicted. All she has is her diagnosis.

Other bits of business such as that - her maid Angele (Dominique Davray) refuses to ride in a taxi with an unlucky number, her best friend Dorothée (Dorothée Blanck) breaks a mirror and irrationally fears the worst - lent the mood a semi-mystical tone, yet this was offset by a realism and at times a genuine playfulness, as if Varda was keen to keep the audience engaged and therefore served up as many different flavours of cinema as she could dream up within her means. It was a plan that worked, well, like a dream, as that Paris of 1961 comes across like some fantasy realm where all possibilities were cast in front of Cléo and her generation, and it was up to us to judge whether they had used their time wisely; soon there would be the student riots in France, and did they change very much?

This was pre-riot, essentially, though we did see rowdy students who the middle-aged Angele looks upon benevolently, but that sense of dawning unrest was in the air when there is an incident in the street that spooks Cléo and Dorothée, or the soldier she meets in the park, Antoine (Antoine Bourseiller) who despite being a gentle soul has been drafted to Algiers to fight against the civil uprising there. Things are not calm by any means, inside or outside of Cléo's bubble, but this was an "all of human life is here" sort of project that did so on a small scale, with Varda's camera often happy simply to observe her actors wandering down those streets or driving around, adhering strictly to her own ninety minutes in ninety minutes rule which was broken up into chapters, compelling in its simple manner. There was even time for a comedy interlude as her Nouvelle Vague mates helped her out with a silent film routine; if you ever wanted to see Jean-Luc Godard do comedy, here was your chance. Overall, this avoided anything arch by stating an optimistic truth, there may be trouble ahead, but it won't all be bad either. Music by Michel Legrand.

Aka: Cléo de 5 a 7

[This is available on the Agnès Varda Blu-ray 8-disc box set along with six other features, a selection of shorts and a wealth of other interview material with the director, one of the greatest woman filmmakers of all time.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 472 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: