Egyptian Theatre, 11/09/13
Cleo 5 to 7 (1962) provided the iconic image of AFI Fest 2013, from the posters to the festival trailer. So, who better to introduce the film than Guest Artistic Director, Agnés Varda.
Known as “the godmother” of the French New Wave, Cleo was her first feature. She told a packed house at the Egyptian that she was most influenced by painting and literature. Pablo Picasso, James Joyce and John Dos Passos who wrote novels “like screenplays” were major influences. She eventually learned the grammar of cinema and how to “ellipse time.” In Cleo, however, she creates an illusion of “real-time” as the luckless heroine stumbles through her afternoon “love party.”
Corinne Marchand plays singer Florence Cléo Victoire’. Varda remembered her from a small part in Jacques Demy’s Lola (1961). She also knew composer Michel Legrand from that film. His appearance as the piano-playing accompanist is a highlight. Cleo has also had a lasting impact on style, influencing everyone from the Warhol crowd to Deborah Harry and Madonna.