Saturday, July 16, 2011

#353: Cleo from 5 to 7

Directed by: AGNES VARDA
1961, TSPDT Rank #531

I do not waver in calling this film an under-appreciated French New Wave masterpiece. It caught me off-guard, and it is endlessly inventive and entertaining, featuring cameos by Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina, and offering a fresh, intriguing female perspective not felt even in Godard films where the focus is all on Karina. This is of course because it's directed by a woman, and I think that if Agnes Vardas were not a woman, she would definitely be considered one of the seminal cinematic masters. I say this solely on the merits of this film, however, as I have not seen any of her other films, but if this one is any indication, those other films should be high in merits as well. With Cleo from 5 to 7, Vardas finds a great reservoir of power in the simplicity of her film, and uses it and the eponymous main character, played by Corinne Marchand, to fantastic effect. I give this film my highest recommendation, it is a masterpiece and it should not be missed - just as one should not miss Breathless.

(Rating: 10/10)

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