Cléo from 5 to 7

Two days ago, singer Cléo (Corinne Marchand) underwent some tests to determine if she has stomach cancer, and how bad it is. She is scheduled to visit the hospital at 7pm, in two hours time, so whiles away the inbetween hours wandering the streets, first having her fortune told before going to a cafe with her maid (Dominique Davray), having a meeting with two musical collaborators (Serge Korber and Michel Legrand) spending time with a friend (Dorothée Blanck) before meeting a soldier (Antoine Bourseiller) in the park and eventually making her way to the hospital to receive her results.
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Vivre sa Vie

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Over the course of twelve chapters we experience the life of Nana (Karina), an aspiring actress and shop assistant who turns to prostitution when her acting career fails to take off.

There comes a point where you have to just sit back and declare that some things aren’t for you. You’ve tried them, often numerous times, but always with a similar, less than stellar result. No matter how hard you try, it’s just not something you can get on board with. And so it is with me and the cinema of the French New Wave. It’s not the worst I’ve seen – I’d possibly hand that crown to Godard’s À Bout de Souffle – but Vivre sa Vie comes close. It strikes me as a film in which the director is actively challenging the audience to pay attention, providing as he does multiple occasions where surely only the most fervent of viewers can remain engaged. Throughout this film we witness an entire letter being hand written, word by word, with the camera focussed intently on the letter. A poem is recited, in full. A conversation is had with French philosopher Brice Parain. And through all the ambling, overly self reflective, ponderous yet vapid naval gazing I struggle to maintain a grip on my conscious state as Godard hints at, but never fully embraces a narrative.
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