Close Up

19 August - 29 September 2018: Cléo from 5 to 7


Cléo from 5 to 7
Agnès Varda
1962 | 90 min | B/W | Digital
French with English subtitles
Introduced by Valerie Orpen

“Varda’s international breakthrough film, Cléo shows, in real time, an hour and a half in the life of a singer traveling across Paris while waiting for the results of a biopsy. Vain, childish and selfish at the start, Cléo’s journey through Paris becomes a journey of self-discovery – she transforms in the course of the film from a passive woman, on whom others project their expectations, into an active participant in her own life. Cléo’s movements through the city embody this metamorphosis – while the film’s first half is dominated by a shopping excursion through glittering, mirrored surfaces that reflect and refract her, in the second half, Cléo literally sheds her false image in order to actively observe the city, culminating in her spontaneous friendship with a soldier on leave.” – Harvard Film Archive

Valerie Orpen has been a film scholar and lecturer in French film studies at Manchester University as well as a freelance writer and translator. She has published several articles and chapters on French cinema and is the author of The Art of the Expressive: Film Editing and Cléo de 5 à 7.

Part of our season on Agnès Varda. With thanks to Valerie Orpen, Curzon Artificial Eye and the BFI