Cinema: Femmes Fatales

Cleo from 5 to 7, acclaimed in France as "the most beautiful film ever made about Paris," is a curiously, spuriously brilliant attempt to contemporize the legend of Death and the Maiden.

Directed by Agnés Varda, a 34-year-old photographer whose first film (La Pointe Courte) established her as "the Founding Mother of the new French cinema," Cleo tells the story of 90 moribund minutes in the life of a featherbrained Parisian canary (Corinne Marchand) who has just begun to peck the plum of show-business success. As the story starts, the singer is nerving herself...

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