29 February 2008

Buster Godard

Last night I watched a wonderful film by Agnes Varda called Cleo from 5 to 7 (1961). It focused on the a few hours of the life of Cleo, a young, vain pop singer in France who is waiting to hear about the results of a cancer biopsy. The film is shot in real time, so we are supposed to be experiencing an hour and half as Cleo experiences an hour and a half (despite the 5 to 7 title, it's probably more like 5 to 6:30). Through her we are led through the streets of Paris as she reflects on her own existence, allowing us to do so for ourselves as well as for this character whom we feel we know quite instantly. Cleo's brief, but significant, journey is cathartic and she is eventually able to find some kind of meaning or purpose to her life, though what it is exactly we can't be sure.

Cleo and Angele in Cleo's curious flat.

A real treat of the film, however, comes during a scene in which Cleo travels with her friend Dorothee to visit Dorothee's film projectionist boyfriend. From the projection booth they (we) watch a silent short. First we see a an upright young man in a porkpie hat with a pretty, young blonde girl. The man is not unlike Buster Keaton and at first he is unrecognizable, but then he puts on some dark sunglasses... it's Godard! Ha. Of course, then, the young blonde girl is Anna Karina. The little clip is great. I found a video on YouTube, though it's been altered a bit. In the film itself we don't see the title cards with film credits at the beginning or end. Also, in the film after Godard buys the flower wreath and he is shot in close up to turn his head, there are supposed to be some tear streams on his face, but in the YouTube video they are hard to see. It's surprising to see how endearing and earnest Godard comes across without his glasses. Hmm.. maybe I should buy myself some tinted shades too. In any case, enjoy!


youngsun said...

that was a funny little film

JVCubby said...

I enjoy when you discover something new in movies ... especially French New Wave. And I, also, enjoy commenting afterwards in a very snobbish professorial manner. "Oh, yes, Kazuaki, I have seen that piece of film ... now, let me illuminate you even further ... are you all ears? Now then ... uh ... look at me. LOOK AT ME!!"

Tymon said...

that was a good clip.

how do you go about researching new material to add to your plethora of knowledge?

Jocko Homo said...

This sounds like an intriguing film. Thank you for alerting my attention to it.