Cleo de 5 a 7 & Vivre Sa Vie
In the nouvelle vague film style in Cleo de 5 a 7 and Vivre Sa Vie, isolation is a common theme expressed by two different walks of life through the unfortunate circumstances of two individual women. Both females have a physical terminal end in sight, but the struggle with internal isolation is what connects them together. Vivre Sa Vie objectifies and sexualizes Nana, the main character, from the minimizing documentary-like style of the film to her sudden cause of death. Her prostitution is unfortunately her fate and she’s nothing more than a catalyst for wealth. On the contrary, Cleo illuminates the terminal effect of cancer and loneliness that grows internally. Isolation comes in all shapes and forms, but the effect it has is ironically consistent to all who experience it.
The streets are portrayed as Nana’s only natural safe haven, or escape from her isolation, even though her prostitution is bound to the streets. The audiences are frequently reminded of Nana’s sexual identification through each scene of her walking down the streets of France with minimal music, representing her worth as nothing more than what others perceive her. Similarly, Cleo’s diagnosis also confines her mentally and emotionally along with the audience from the very beginning of the film. She’s frequently reminded of her dark isolation to the rest of the characters by seeing reflections of herself in mirrors. The mirrors represent how she sees herself, especially when the audience sees close-up shots of her.
Isolation is seen as the core theme in both films, but the element distinctly segregating these films is the nature of the isolation. Nana sexualization creates her solidarity while Cleo’s isolation is made through her unexpected medical diagnosis and self-absorbed nature. Although we never know what happens to Cleo in the end, her perspective changed not only how she saw herself but her...
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