Cleo from 5 to 7

I really enjoyed Varda’s film because I felt like Cleo was a really fun character to be following. I could relate to her stress and frustration when she was getting the tarot cards red and related to her happiness when she went hat shopping for instance. I also enjoyed the pace of the movie. A lot of times a movie will condense time to fit the hour and a half time frame but this movie was not compressed all that much since the story happens only over 2 hours. Enough happened during those 2 hours that enabled it to fill an hour and a half and not feel boring. I chose to analyze the final scene because I really like the ending.

The scene opens with a wide shot of Cleo and the soldier sitting on the bench talking. Cleo seems very happy and not as stressed as before when she was in the hospital. She knows the soldier is leaving and wants to live in the moment.


The next shot is a extreme wide shot. I loved the angle of this shot when I was watching it because at first I didn’t know what to look at. It is nice to see it from the perspective of the man on the bench.


Next, a close-up of the doctor in the car is here. I really liked how this shot is a bit long. The camera is still focused on the doctor when Cleo and the soldier are talking. It brings a slower pace to the scene as the camera is not flipping back and forth as they are talking and makes the focus of this part of the scene the doctor, and not Cleo.


Finally, a wide shot of Cleo talking to the doctor is shown. Here is where the focus shifts from the doctor to her.She is relieved that the doctor had good news.


Next we see an extreme wide tracking shot. Here it seems as though the camera is on the car as it is driving away.I thought that this shot did a good job in applying depth and perspective to the scene in a rather quick way.


Lastly, a long take close-up of Cleo and the soldier is shown. This scene reminded me of the very last scene of “The Graduate” where Ben and Elaine are sitting on the bus looking at each other and smiling. Nichols probably got the idea for that from Varda. Here, they are both happy about the test results but also serious and┬ánot sure about the future because the soldier was about to leave and Cleo still had to go through chemo. I feel like their emotions are the same as Ben and Elaine in “The Graduate” so it is kinda interesting that the last shot for both films are the same. That ending in Nichols’ film has become an iconic ending but it seems like the inspiration for that came from this film.


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Andre Bazin’s Film Philosophy

In his work, “What is Cinema,” Andre Bazin teaches his audience about how cinema exists within the history of art and how cinema has changed since its inauguration. Firstly, Bazin describes cinema”as the art of reality.” For him, cinematography is the “furthermost evolution to date of plastic realism.” Ancient Egyptians used to perform burial rituals and create terracotta statues of the dead. This is an example of what Bazin refers to as plastic art, or art that is visual. This art seen in ancient Egypt evolved into paintings. Then photographs became the newest form of plastic art. Lastly, cinema joined the family. Here, Bazin is showing how cinema is a part of art that has evolved through centuries. Moreover, Bazin continues to discuss how film has changed throughout time. One of his focuses was the shift from silent films to “talkies” that occurred from 1928 to 1930. Although, Bazin argues that this shift was not all that different for cinema, this shift is pretty influential. The shift to movies with sound is what allows films to diversify more. In the 1930s to the 1940s different types of film, such as comedy, crime and horror, would not have come. However, films still were all similar in the way they were shot, until Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane.” Although I have not seen most of the films referenced by Bazin from this time, I have seen “Citizen Kane.” This film was the first of its kind to change the squence of how a film was shot. Up until this time, movies were filmed the way one would see it if it was shown in a theater. Instead of montage, Citizen Kane uses contrast between scenes. Lastly, Bazin discusses the contrast between films in the 1930s that focused on the development of using sound, to films of the 1940s that explored film shooting techniques.┬áHere Bazin not only references American cinema, but also Italian cinema. During this time films in Europe were also modernizing. Bazin uses his work to discuss how film is a part of plastic art and the evolution of cinema up until 1950.