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Cléo de 5 a 7: BFI Film Classics

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New Edition

Steven Ungar provides a close reading of Agnès Varda's classic 1962 work that depicts, in near real­time, 90 minutes in the life of Cléo, a young woman in Paris awaiting the results of medical tests that she fears will confirm a fatal condition. Ungar also looks back on Varda's film-making career and her contribution to the French New Wave.

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Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cléo from 5 to 7), Agnes Varda's classic 1962 work depicts, in near real­ time, 90 minutes in the life of Cléo, a young woman in Paris awaiting the results of medical tests that she fears will confirm a fatal condition.

The film, whose visual beauty matches its evocation of early-Fifth Republic Paris, was a major point of reference for the French New Wave despite the fact that Varda never considered herself a member of the core Cahiers du Cinéma group of critics ­turned­ film­makers. Steven Ungar provides a close reading of the film and situates it in its social, political and cinematic contexts, tracing Varda's early career as a student of art history and as a photographer, the history of post­war French film, and the lengthy Algerian war to which Cléo's health concerns and ambitions to become a pop singer make her more or less oblivious. His study is the first to set a reading of Cléo's formal and technical complexity alongside an analysis of its status as a visual document of its historical moment. Steven Ungar's foreword to this new edition looks back upon Varda's film-making career and considers her contributions as a female auteur and in the context of the French New Wave.


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More Information
SKU 9781838719364
Author(s) Steven Ungar
Publisher(s) Bloomsbury / BFI
Format Paperback
Original publication date 28/05/2020
Number of pages 128
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