Cleo from 5 to 7

Movie Information

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Cleo from 5 to 7 at 8 p.m. Friday, March 25, at Phil Mechanic Studios (109 Roberts St., River Arts District, upstairs in the Railroad Library). Info: 273-3332,
Genre: Drama
Director: Agnes Varda
Starring: Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray, Dorothee Blank, Michel Legrand
Rated: NR

It’s completely accidental that World Cinema is running Agnes Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7 (1961) the same week that Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere hits town. Accidental, but strangely apt, because its heroine, Cleo (Corinne Marchand), is the kind of spoiled, self-absorbed character at the center in Coppola’s film. The difference is that Varda does it all better. This is the movie that placed Varda in the ranks of the New Wave filmmakers. Its concept is to follow the vapid title character, a pop singer, in faux real time (the title claims two hours, the film is 90 minutes) as she waits for a biopsy report she dreads. That’s it, but what matters is the way Varda spends that time depicting Cleo’s dawning realization that her friends don’t really know her and don’t really care, that it’s hard to be sure there even is anyone for them to know, and that her life is a wholly superficial one. In Varda’s hands, it’s a journey into self-discovery that’s worth making. Also showing is the short film La Jette, a review for which can be found at

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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