A naked female artist model is seen; full rear nudity and side nudity (breasts exposed briefly) is seen.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


To be more precise, it’s Cleo from 5:00 to 6:30. Agnes Valda’s film records the process of pop singer Cl é o Victoire wandering the streets of Paris 90 minutes before the cancer report. Before watching the film, I expected the film to be good at psychological depiction, because a woman’s activities before a major crisis can not help but remind people of Tolstoy’s famous psychological description before Anna’s suicide. In the novel, Anna returns home by carriage from Kitty’s house. After reading vorensky’s heartless message at home, she gets on the carriage again and rushes to the railway station, where she finally sleeps on the rail and commits suicide. Along the way, Anna’s thoughts mainly focused on her relationship with wallensky, wallensky’s ruthlessness, friends’ unkindness and other things that made her disillusioned. At the same time, her consciousness was often “interrupted” by what she saw outside the carriage: two passers-by, an ice cream vendor stopped by two boys, a pious businessman drawing a cross, a church, bells House… Anna unconsciously incorporated these factors into her consciousness. Tolstoy reproduces a woman’s neurotic conscious activities on the verge of collapse with exquisite psychological description, and imitates the flow process of consciousness like a genius in the era when the “stream of consciousness” theory has not yet been born.

As a woman on the verge of collapse, she is also in the process of constantly being forced to encounter information. I am most happy to find out what effect will be achieved through film. Naturally, this hope has largely failed, because psychological depiction is only a secondary aspect of the film’s intention. Starting from the standpoint of a “real film”, Walda finally leads to a kind of social criticism.

The most amazing thing about this film is that the 90 minute duration of the film completely corresponds to the period from 5:00 to 6:30 of Cleo’s activities in the film, that is, the time inside and outside the film is the same, which greatly challenges the time illusion caused by montage. I found that some people on the Internet compared this film with Hitchcock’s “soul snatcher” and Sokolov’s “Russian Ark”. In fact, from the experimental point of view, this film can not reach the level of the last two films, because the film without any editing is not only the same in time, but also completely continuous in space, which completely subverts the space-time illusion of montage aesthetics, and Cleo at least divides the space with editing. Walda was not the first director to shoot this kind of “real-time film”. The famous 1952 western “noon” is another precedent. From 11:40, Sheriff Kane learned that the four gangsters would come to the town to avenge him. Until noon, the four gangsters were completely subdued by Kane. This period also fully corresponds to the 85 minutes of the film, but, The aesthetic starting points of the two films are very different. The same internal and external time in noon is that the screenwriter skillfully compresses the plot in the shortest time to achieve the most tense and thrilling dramatic effect. Cleo starts from the aesthetics of “real film” in order to give full play to the recording function of the camera to the greatest extent.

The so-called “real film”, which rose in the late 1950s, was mainly inspired by wiltov’s “film eye” theory. It advocated capturing real life directly with hand-held cameras, recording audio tracks on site, and rejecting any script and actor performance. Walda herself was deeply influenced by this school. In her later years, she also made a film “the scavenger”, which was mainly composed of her shots of garbage pickers (scavengers) on the street. Cleo deliberately absorbed the creative techniques of this school, but did not fully practice it (it still used actors and designed the main plot in advance).

We saw Cleo wandering from one street to another, from hat shops to cafes, from schools to cinemas, from parks to hospitals. The camera followed her all the time, seemingly “completely” recording her whole activity process. But even human eyes can’t see everything. They also have to watch selectively. The camera imitates human eyes, and the objects it captures naturally have to be selected. In this sense, the “reality” of any film is fundamentally just an illusion. Walda knows this well, so she mainly captures different scenes selectively, and then combines these scenes to form a certain meaning. People in the cafe talked about Algeria, poetry and art. The taxi radio broadcast the news of adventurers crossing the English Channel. The female driver happily recalled her adventure of driving at night. One of the two street artists was performing swallowing live frogs, and the other put steel bars in her arms, What we saw and heard with Cleo is difficult to say that there is any metaphor or symbol in it. At the same time, it can not directly imply the heroine’s Psychology (perhaps the performance of two street artists is an exception). They were filmed largely because the streets of Paris in the early 1960s were full of such scenery, which was a part of Cleo’s world.

But this is not a sightseeing film after all. The audience always expects these landscapes to have some meaning. The theory of “movie eye” also emphasizes that the camera should be regarded as an eye to watch things. In order to achieve the effect of suggesting the viewer’s psychology, its protagonist should be the viewer himself. The viewer in this film is naturally Cleo, but it has been explained that the street view of Paris cannot deeply depict the character’s psychology. Even if there is a hint, it is not clear, because a lens is usually not clear with a paragraph of text, and it is always ambiguous to a certain extent. For example, an artist swallowing a frog may indicate Cleo’s disgust with the world, and putting a steel bar through his arm may indicate the cruelty of the world, but this is not clear, because you can fully understand that it is only an ordinary part of the street view of Paris. Walda certainly felt this, so in the 48th minute of the film, she boldly broke the aesthetic limit of “real film”. At this time, Cleo had just come out of a bar, and the sound of Cleo’s footsteps was suddenly the only sound left on the original noisy street on the movie track. The lens switched back and forth between the objective lens showing Cleo’s facial expression and the subjective lens showing Cleo watching pedestrians on the roadside, perhaps affected by the change of sound, which changed the previous carelessness, Become urgent and nervous, and guide the audience to quickly perceive the psychological state of the characters at this moment. At the same time, Cleo’s subjective lens does not have the previous time length and the space span left on different people and things, but a close-up of characters with a very short time span, and passers-by approaches from far to near. At this time, the audience can clearly feel Cleo’s inner fear. Then, Valda deepened this fear with a group of jumping scenes she was good at. Cleo’s subjective lens suddenly added a close-up of the face of the old witch who calculated her bad luck with tarot cards at the beginning of the film. After several groups of close-up shots of passers-by, it was a close-up of the young composer who wrote music for her but did not agree with her talent, suggesting a close-up of the alarm clock with little time, The close-up of her indifferent lover, the close-up of the maid who bound her life with various superstitions, and the close-up of the wig symbolizing her social identity. This group of forced close-up shots can be understood as the pictures flashed through Cleo’s heart, which strongly expressed Cleo’s fear of disease and his disgust with the various social mechanisms that bound her life, Formed a psychological climax of the film.

The traditional way to express the character’s psychology is to flash back the lens, which means that the character is immersed in the memory of a certain period of time and expresses the character’s emotional color with the color of the story that happened in this period of time. Walda undoubtedly abandoned this method. The problem is that this subjective lens depicting the characters’ psychology can not constitute the whole film. They only appear vivid at some moments. Generally speaking, the description of the characters’ psychological activities in an hour and a half is far inferior to Tolstoy’s description of Anna’s psychological activities before suicide in just a few thousand words.

Tearing off the cloak of documentary aesthetics and the disguise of psychological drama, we find that the remaining elements that constitute the theme and significance of the film are the result of Walda’s careful design in advance. It is about a woman’s process of breaking through various social repression and constraints, finding her true self and recovering the integrity of life at the critical moment of her life, and its criticism obviously points to various external social mechanisms.

Cleo in the film is a somewhat superstitious woman. At the beginning of the film, she is asking someone to use tarot cards to predict her destiny, which means that she gives her life to some mystery and regards it as something unknown but destined. Then came the very vivid black hat. Cleo liked it very much after buying it from the store, but the maid said it was Tuesday and it was not suitable to wear a new hat. Cleo didn’t object at the beginning. She agreed with this somewhat ridiculous social custom. This hat not only represents a certain social constraint, but also has a very important visual function. Later, Cleopatra decided to live a more self-centered life and resolutely took off his wig. After wearing this hat, the image of the character seemed to be refreshed. Then came the appearance of her lover in Cleo’s family and two musicians who wrote songs and lyrics for her. What these people care about is either her beautiful appearance or her identity as a pop singer. For them, Cleo is not a “person” with real connotation. So Cleo said, “all people dote on me, and no one really loves me”. Seeing here, most of the audience can feel where the theme of the film is pointing. Those seemingly random events are actually the result of Walda’s intentional arrangement from the theme. After a series of repression, Cleo directly revealed his heart by rehearsing a new song. Valda intended to stage the rehearsal and singing. The camera slowly focused on Cleo’s body and face. At the climax of the song, the singing became Cleo’s complaint: “I want to lie down, gray, pale and lonely.”

Next, Cleo’s series of experiences in the street became the process of her being inspired, breaking through the shackles and finding herself. Cleo came to the art workshop where his friend Doroth é e worked as a mannequin. The camera lens passed through a group of unformed mannequins. This metaphor is so obvious that it is not difficult for the audience to imagine that the director’s intention is to point out that the way of liberation is only to return to people’s more primitive, simple and natural state. Next, Cleo and Doroth é e had a deeper dialogue about nudity. Cleo said, “I feel too exposed. I’m afraid to find fault with others.” Doroth é e: “nonsense, my body makes me happy, not proud…”. Gradually, Doroth é e became Cleo’s Guide to find himself. Then they went to Doroth é e’s friend’s cinema, where Valda inserted a black-and-white silent film with Godard’s friendly guest role. The metaphor of that silent film is also very obvious. Godard, wearing sunglasses (colored glasses, a symbol of custom and social mechanism), mistook his girlfriend, causing tragedy and heartbreaking. She didn’t find her girlfriend (love) until he took off his sunglasses. Finally, Cleo’s redemption was completed by the soldier she met in the park. Here, Cleo not only found the people who really cared about her and found love, but also the haze of cancer that had originally enveloped her head disappeared. There was an interesting conversation about love between them. Cleo asked the soldier, “have you ever loved?” “Often, but never love as deeply as I think. It’s all girls’ fault. They just want to be loved. They are afraid of giving and losing. They just don’t love completely. Their bodies are just toys, not their lives.” It’s like Cleo’s portrayal before, and now she finally understands the meaning of life and love.

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