Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cleo from 5 to 7

Cleo was a pampered singer that seemed to be a one hit wonder. She was extremely frivolous and childish. Her apartment was equipt with a swing and multiple little kittens, even her dwelling reflected her immaturity. Cleo was so puerile that everyone assumed that she was faking her sickness. Even her care taker did not believe she was sick and felt Cleo was hugely over reacting.

Cleo was initially not only childish, but also vain. After the begining scene of the Tarrot card reading, the voice over narration of Cleo's reaction said "atleast I will stay beautiful". She felt that beauty was the only true way to stay alive. The childness and conceited nature of Cleo allowed the viewer to realize how much one can learn in two hours.

The fact that this film was shot in real time made it an impressive journey of the possibilities of circumstance in a two hour duration. Not only was it beautifully shot, but it made Cleo's story real. There was no empty spaces, just time and the gradual fullfillment of a character. The scene of Cleo on the town by herself, shows how fearful and selfconcious she is at this point. She is agitated by people staring, and by others thriving in attention. About an hour later, she meets the soldier; he temporarily takes her mind off of things and personally takes her to the hospital to get her test results. When Cleo does find out she is sick with cancer her fear is diminished and she is no longer in a state of panic. I believe Varda's main point of the film is that fear is not knowing. It also shows how much one can learn about themselves in such a short period of time.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hiroshima Mon Amour

Resnais worked with Duras to create a truly beautiful film. The beginning of the film’s amazing photography and somewhat dark narration set the mood of the film. It depicted beauty, love and grief. If one was to read a generic plot description of this film, it would be generalized as a love story. However, the Hiroshima Mon Amour touches on issues that go beyond love.
The film deals with two characters that were greatly influenced by World War II. Elle and Lui were able to share their stories of agony. Lui’s entire family was killed in result of the bombing of Hiroshima and Elle’s first lover was killed in the war.

The similarities between Elle’s first lover and Lui were astonishing and somewhat eerie. Elle’s first lover was a Nazi soldier and an obvious enemy to France. Lui was a Japanese soldier during World War II, also making him an enemy of France. What made this eerie is the way Elle told her story. While telling the story to Lui she would often refer to the Nazi soldier as “you”. This not only kept the viewer guessing, but indirectly exposed the parallel between Lui and the Nazi soldier.

The scene of Elle’s past showed one example of negative effect from war. It was almost as if her grief , humiliation and confinement was her personal Hiroshima bombing.