Varda And Ozu Analysis

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Society and Self-Service: Key Thoughts of Varda and Ozu
A sound comparison one could make between Agnes Varda’s and Yasujiro Ozu’s masterpieces is that each presents a question key to feminist theory through the lives of their singular female protagonists: what is the effect of societal pressures on a woman finding her identity? As the titular character Cleo in Agnes Varnas’ Cleo a 5 de 7 rejects her role as an object of the public gaze, and Noriko of Yasujiro Ozu’s Late Spring grapples with her fate to play the part of a traditional Japanese housewife, both directors explore this common concept of finding one’s identity in an unkind world through the use of such themes as routines, charades and emptiness.
Routines are a brief, but necessary element to both films; they establish their leading characters as seeking security in repetition of societal norms, and serve to highlight the director’s signature style of camerawork in each film. For example, in reference to the title of Agnes Varda’s film, Cleo expects to receive her lover at 5 p.m., repeating a behavioral convention encouraged by French society to meet one’s lover at this time. She dons her wig and fluffy coat, lies on her bed in wait of her attractive but patronizing lover, and plays along with his shallow display of affection when he comes and goes—as, it is implied, she has done several times before. The practice of this routine allows the camera to advocate the underlying issue of the scene; the height of the

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