• Both a narrative and stylistic triumph—the premise, Cleo, a pop star, in nearly real-time, going about her life about to get big news on whether or not she has cancer—the timing as a formal device (chapter breaks in minutes) is genius and gives the entire film true immediacy
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  • The tarot card opening (in color- unlike the rest of the film) is magnificent as well. Varda interweaves the b/w narrative as a transition from the title credit (color tarot cards) to b/w narrative
  • Excellent Michel Legrand score (and he’s an actor in the film with one of the most memorable scenes/shots)- Legrand worked on The Thomas Crown Affair along with Demy’s work Cherbourg and Rochefort
  • When Cleo is coming down the stairs, near the beginning of the film, we get the trademark Scorsese (10 years before Scorsese of course) triple-edit shot (of same subject)—fantastic shot—gorgeous and brings your attention to how much she’s in her own head at that moment—I think it’s a signature New Wave moment
  • We get a little sloppy with the inner-monologues—we have some of her thoughts at the beginning and then we cut to her sturdy assistant’s inner thoughts the next minute—it’s rule breaking, but then it drops off—I find this to be a formal flaw
  • Great to see the busy Paris streets and cafes—a true character in the film
  • Shots of store-front glass reflections— otherwise mundane or innocuous tasks like shopping—she’s lost
  • There’s some choppy in-shot editing
  • Female taxi drive—this is intentional from Varda—of course Cleo is subject to male gaze the entire time- she gets gazes from females too because of her beauty and celebrity status
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  • Elegant tracking shot around the decorative bed posts using the post as a framing device
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  • There’s a blend of realism (real time, real settings, no narrative) like La Pointe Courte with melodrama
  • Corinne Marchand in the lead is fantastic and will be in my mentions for best of 62’, her singing scene where she breaks down
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  • A great scene of Cleo all alone in a crowded café
  • Again, in her own head- we have Algiers on the radio—friends and colleagues caring to different levels
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  • Cameo by Godard and Anna Karina
  • Great reverse shot on the park bench framed by the trees toward the end
  • A photographer’s eye with Varda again clearly- she takes beautiful photographs—ends with the conversation with the stranger
  • Must-See