Friday, December 09, 2005
April in Paris
Well, actually it's June...and successful pop singer Cleo--spoiled, capricious, gorgeous--awaits the results of her biopsy. Everything in her world is surface, and based on her own physical beauty. "As long as I'm beautiful, I'm alive," she intones, en regardant her own visage in a mirror. Much of the first half of the film features extravagant use of mirrors and reflections in a variety of windows and water surfaces. But Cleo begins to develop depth in confrontation with mortality; as she roams Paris--never more lovely--she loses her absolute reliance on the visually attractive and becomes interested in more complicated profundities. At the same time, Paris awakens to its role in the Algerian nightmare.
I'll spare you the requisite Lacanian take on Cleo de 5 a 7; the film is about gaze and subjectivity, and about seeing. What film isn't? And when what we're seeing is that marvelous exhausting city and its enchantingly tiresome denizens...well, I can't think of a better way to spend 90 minutes.