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La fotografa Agnés Varda (France, 1928) passò al cinema per
girare La Pointe Courte (1955) in diretta
(two reunited lovers in a Mediterranean fishing port, a precursor
of the nouvelle vague),
e alcuni cortometraggi documentari.
Cléo de 5 à 7/ Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962), realizzato per le strade di Parigi, fa
coincidere tempo di proiezione e tempo di narrazione,
racconta cioè due ore della vita della protagonista.
Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina appear in a film within the film.
At 5pm a tarot reader asks a young woman to pick nine cards and then proceeds to
read her future. The fortune teller sees only tragedy in her future: no
marriage, an illness and death. When the young woman asks her to read her hand,
the fortune teller refuses: she has seen cancer. Cleo already thought she was
sick. Now she is absolutely certain, and so she says to her friend Angele whom
she encounters in a cafe. Cleo is to go to the hospital at 7pm to pick up the results of
some analyses that will show if she is indeed terminally sick.
While her friends is telling a story, Cleo listens to the
conversation of two lovers who are breaking up.
They go to a boutique where Cleo can't resist to try some clothes. They take
a taxi to her friend's place. The radio is playing a song recorded by
Cleo herself, who obviously must be a professional singer. At her friend's place
they are joined by Cleo's lover, who tries in vain to console her. She is
gorgeous and aware that people spoil her but don't love her.
Her two funny young composers show up and present their new song to her, but
any sad word makes her cry.
She dresses in black and walks outside alone. She feels that everybody is
staring at her.
She walks into the studio of sculpture students. The model who is posing naked
is a friend whom she has not seen in a while. The model invite her for a ride
in her boyfriend's car: she just learned to drive. Cleo tells her of her
illness. The model drives to her boyfriend's cinema, where he is projecting
a silent slapstick. Then the girls stumble into the scene of a murder.
They take a taxi and part. Cleo walks alone in a park. A stranger approaches
her, trying to strike a conversation. He's a soldier on his last day of leave.
They become friends and he takes the tram with her to the hospital.
It is 7pm but the doctor has already left. Cleo is shocked that he would leave
without telling her that she has cancer. They find him outside while he is
driving away: Cleo has nothing serious. What is more important is that Cleo
has finally found someone who cares for her: the soldier.
Ironically, it is the soldier who might die. He is headed for a war zone.
Cléo, cantante di night fatua e capricciosa, viene improvvisamente colta dal terrore di avere il
cancro ed è in attesa di conoscere l'esito della diagnosi; in quelle due ore la ragazza si rende conto
per la prima volta di ciò che le sta attorno: il traffico, la gente, le case; si rende conto di essere
sempre stata sola, nonostante il ricco amante e gli squallidi amici, ed è felice di stringere amicizia
con un soldatino in procinto di partire per l'Algeria e che la tratta come un essere umano, fino ad
accompagnarla dal dottore, che mentisce per pietà.
La crisi della coppia diventa il tema preferito di Varda:
Le Bonheur/ Happiness (1965), il suo film visualmente piu` accattivante,
e Les Creatures/ The Creatures (1966), un fantascientifico con Michele Piccoli and Catherine Deneuve, centrati sulla denuncia dell'egoismo maschile, manieristici congegni
Il documentario Daguerreotypes (1975) visita i negozi della via dove Varda
abita, portando alla luce la popolazione dei negozianti.
L'une Chante, l'autre Pas/ One Sings the Other Doesn't (1977) is a feminist film and almost a musical.
Documenteur (1981) was a drama about a single mother in Los Angeles.
Sans Toit ni Loi/ Vagabond (1985) specula sulla morte di una ragazza vagabonda.
Le Petit Amour/ Kung Fu Master (1987) was a film with Jane Birkin two
years after she had made a documentary on her,
Jane B Par Agnes V (1985).
Jacquot de Nantes (1991) is de facto a biography of her husband Demy.
Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse/ The Gleaners and I (2000) is a documentary
(made with a digital handheld camera) inspired by Jean-Francois Millet's painting "The Gleaners and I" (1857).
Les Plages de Agne/ The Beaches of Agnes (2008) is an autobiographical documentary.
Her last film was the documentary
Visages Villages/ Faces Places (2017).
Varda died in 2019.