- dir. AGNÈS VARDA
- year 1962
- country FRANCE
- run-time 89 MIN
- rating PG
Deptford Cinema presents a retrospective on the French artist Agnès Varda.
"The only female director of the French New Wave, Agnès Varda has been called both the movement’s mother and its grandmother. The fact that some have felt the need to assign her a specifically feminine role, and the confusion over how to characterize that role, speak to just how unique her place in this hallowed cinematic movement—defined by such decidedly masculine artists as Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut—is. Varda not only made films during the nouvelle vague, she helped inspire it. Her self-funded debut, the fiction-documentary hybrid 1956’s La Pointe Courte is often considered the unofficial first New Wave film; when she made it, she had no professional cinema training (her early work included painting, sculpting, and photojournalism). Though not widely seen, the film got her commissions to make several documentaries in the late fifties. In 1962, she released the seminal nouvelle vague film Cléo from 5 to 7; a bold character study that avoids psychologizing, it announced her official arrival. Over the coming decades, Varda became a force in art cinema, conceiving many of her films as political and feminist statements, and using a radical objectivity to create her unforgettable characters. She describes her style as cinécriture(writing on film), and it can be seen in formally audacious fictions like Le bonheur and Vagabond as well as more ragged and revealing autobiographical documentaries like The Gleaners and I and The Beaches of Agnès." -The Criterion Collection
Paris as it was in June 1961, still popular, still vibrant, sometimes hazardous. Cléo (Corinne Marchand) is set adrift in the city as she awaits the test results of a biopsy. The film unfolds in real-time from 17h to 18h30 on the first day of summer, June 21st 1961. From rue Rivoli to her apartment on the left bank, from Gare Montparnasse to the Montsouris Parc, Cléo roams the streets of Paris. 90 minutes of her life filled with unexpected encounters, revelations and contradictory emotions.