Analysis Of The Movie ' Cleo From 5 ', ' Directed By Agnes Varda

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Cléo from 5 to 7, directed by Agnes Varda, is a film about one woman’s struggle to come to terms with the possibility of her potential illness. Not only is Cléo struggling with her physical health, but she is also dealing with her beauty and the consequences of being an attractive woman in the modern world of the 1960s. When examined through the lens of Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” theory, another aspect of the film comes to light. The film seems to objectify Cléo and thus trivialize her struggles with others’ perceptions of her throughout the film by adhering to the construct of the male gaze. Although Cléo from 5 to 7 appears to play into the construct of the male gaze through the repeated objectification of Cléo, it actually subverts this idea and instead confronts the viewer, and the notion of women as passive objects to be viewed. Laura Mulvey’s theory is built on the concept of there being pleasure in looking. This manifests itself in two ways. The first is scopophilia, “in which looking itself is a source of pleasure” (Mulvey, p. 713). This sort of looking is active looking, and makes whatever is being looked at passive, receiving the gaze. The second way that this visual pleasure manifests itself is in its narcissistic form, which is to derive pleasure through the act of identification with the image seen. The image seen is a more perfect version of the spectator, making it pleasurable for the spectator to identify with them, to live

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