Visionary of the French New Wave, Agnès Varda captures the atmosphere of Paris in the '60s with this portrait of a singer searching for answers as she awaits test results from a biopsy. A chronicle of two crucial hours in one woman's life, Cléo from 5 to 7
is a spirited mix of vivid vérité and melodrama. The film features a score by Michel Legrand (Umbrellas of Cherbourg
) and cameos by Legrand, Jean-Luc Godard, and Anna Karina. Criterion is proud to present Cléo from 5 to 7
in a beautiful digital transfer supervised by the director, with the color opening sequence restored.
Agnes Varda, the lone woman in the French New Wave boys' club, made her reputation with her second feature Cleo from 5 to 7
, a 90-minute drama set in real time exploring the internal turmoil of a flighty young pop singer who awaits the results of a medical examination for cancer. Leaving behind her elegant, almost antiseptic apartment for the bustle of the Parisian streets, she weaves through crowds and watches street performers while struggling with her fears and self-recriminations, confronting her shortcomings and finding hope in a chance meeting with a young soldier. Varda captures the vibrant social world and its easy rhythms in creamy black and white with smooth long takes, bringing an almost tactile quality to Cleo's personal odyssey, punctuated with chapter titles marking the time until her appointment at the hospital. Corinne Marchand's Cleo enters as a spoiled adolescent, but introspective internal monologues and brief encounters with strangers etch a portrait of a woman hiding her fears under a façade of flightiness, only discarding the mask when she firmly embraces life in the face of possible death. --Sean Axmaker
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.