Essential cinema. Varda's second feature is a sublime experience from its choice editing and rich cinematography (by Jean Rabier) to its story structure and performances. While the French film world were fixated on the emerging 'nouvelle vague' Varda was already mixing the best it had to offer with the rich French cinema history. Not dated in the least 'Cleo' is a magnificent experience from a feminine perspective.
Life in a glasshouse, as you walk and the gaze of others is fixated on you after every step they step into your world, Varda films the pre-text of these short and swift stares she measures each gaze. Eventually you see yourself in this manner. She no longer see's the world through her own eyes but the eyes of others of those looking back at her and through the eyes of those fixated on her. Varda shatters this glass.
Told in real time, Cléo from 5 to 7 is a charming film and one of the French New Wave's most inventive selections. I love the music, the exploration of the Parisian flâneur, and the ending - which is impossibly moving.
Each film by Varda I watch I like her work more and more. Cleo goes from a place of vanity, surrounded by mirrors and catcalls, to a place of introspection involving fragmented reflections and staring people after an evocative song, and finally to a worldly awareness and open heart after the mirror finally shatters completely and she's left with a soldier who, like her, may not die but is in a position to.