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Cleo from 5 to 7 (Cléo de 5 à 7)

There are worse things in life than being beautiful and self-obsessed--like facing your own mortality, for instance. Cleo (Corrinne Marchand) is a stunning and spoiled pop singer who is told--during a visit to a tarot reader--that she will soon die from stomach cancer. The film follows the two hours leading up to a doctor's appointment, where Cleo will find out the results of her medical examination. In this brief span of time, Director Agnès Varda reveals a successful (though overly irrational) woman, who is consumed by others' (especially men's) perception of her. She spends a great deal of time admiring or feeling sorry for herself and the introduction of a charming soldier, Antoine, only intensifies this neuroticism. The film is a study of her growth and maturity, though it alternates between many other facets of life, including the war in Algeria (in which Antoine will soon be fighting), the life and death of a female drifter, and the random conversations of various strangers on the crowded streets of France. Ultimately, Cleo from 5 to 7 is Varda's depiction of a woman who must find more substantial meaning in life, in the face of death. See "Special Showings" for details. --olufunke moses

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