Monday, June 30, 2008

un film de jacques demy

Spent this weekend hanging out at my beloved little Aero Theatre on Montana, for their Jacques Demy film tribute. Jacques was a french filmmaker who had a great admiration for Hollywood musicals. His films, to quite Wikipedia, "created a self-contained fantasy world closer to that of Fran├žois Truffaut, drawing on musicals, fairy tales and the golden age of Hollywood".

The series showed his major films in inverse order. It opened with "Model Shop", his only American Film. Shot on location on the Sunset Strip in 1969, it is a visual love letter to Los Angeles wrapped around a slightly sordid story- a man who becomes obsessed with a girl he meets in a photography modelling studio.

The second film was a musical, in the traditional Hollywood style. "The Young Girls Of Rochefort". It is about three would-be couples and the series of choreographed near-misses that keep them from meeting. Starring Catherine Deneuve and her real life sister Francoise Dorelac, as twin sisters, it is a very fun film- full of infused color and Michel Le Grand music.

The series culminated on Saturday with "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg", his most famous film. Not so much a musical as an operetta, there is no spoken dialogue. The entire story is told in song, and set to Demy's super infused color background- vibrant reds, intense blues, greens, and pinks belie the ordinary aspect of the story.

It's a typical tale- ordinary mechanic boy meets ordinary umbrella clerk girl. Boy meets girl, boy knocks girl up, boy goes off to war, girl marries a wealthy guy, boy comes home, buys an Esso gas station, marries Godmother's hottie caretaker, and their paths never cross again, until this bittersweet last scene- exquisite in its message about how life moves on. Take a look:

All in all, excellent weekend and timely message for yours truly.

Life moves on.

1 comment:

Al said...

Timely conclusion indeed.

Some day when we meet (and I hope it is soon) I will tell you how strangely fitting that scene was to the weekend now past. Bittersweet yes, but all good.