Columbia Campus Event

Cléo from 5 to 7
Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender

  • Thu, October 7, 2021 | 7 p.m. (NYC)
  • Cowin Auditorium | Horace Mann Hall 147 | Teachers College
  • Open to Columbia University Community only

Agnès Varda eloquently captures Paris in the 1960s with this real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) set adrift in the city as she awaits, from 5 pm to 7 pm, the results of a worrying medical test.

Cléo from 5 to 7 by Agnès Varda (1962)

A spirited chronicle of these minutes of one woman’s life, Cléo from 5 to 7 mixes vivid cinéma vérité and melodrama to tell a story of maturation and emancipation. Selected at the Cannes Film Festival in 1963, the film contributed to elevating Varda as a prominent - and feminist - filmmaker in the otherwise all-male Nouvelle Vague movement, and it subtlely questions the roles and clichés a Parisian woman copes with, then and today.

The screening will be introduced with messages from Agnès Varda’s daughter, Rosalie Varda, and Nora Philippe.

About the Series

Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender” presents nine fiction films and documentaries that were produced or co-produced in France and have never or rarely been shown in New York. Seven of these are recent films, while the two films that open and close the series are classics. These films take questions of gender identity and sexual orientation head on, through emancipatory explorations and revolutionary projects, often intimately and politically combative, presenting collective portraits and personal biographies as well as character-driven stories.

Mauvais Genres” is an ironic pun on a French expression that can mean “bad kind,” “bad manners,” or “bad impression,” and can also mean “wrong” or “mistaken” gender. It is also a nod to filmmaker Sébastien Lifshitz, whose work is highlighted with three selections in this festival, since he used “Mauvais Genre” in the singular as the title of an exhibition about his work. The heroines and heros of these films defy the identities or destinies of gender or sexual orientation that are assigned to them, whether they’re appearing on self-made clips live streamed on youtube or in a mythological village in the Sahel.

This event is featured as part of the film festival, Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender organized by the Columbia Maison Française and curated by Nora Philippe. Additional support is provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.