rr-6 - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les parapluies de...

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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg ( Les parapluies de Cherbourg , 1964) Director: Jacque Demy Producer: Meg Bodard Screenwriter: Demy Music: Michel Legrand D.P.: Jean Rabier Editor: Anne-marie Cotret & Monique Teisseire Catherine Deneuve: Geneviève Emery Anne Vernon: Mme Emery Nino Castelnuovo: Guy Mireille Perrey: Aunt Élise March Mechl: Roland Cossard Ellen Farner: Madeleine Jean Champion: Aubin Pieree Caden: Bernard “Songs in the Key of Everyday Life,” Jonathan Rosenbaum “. . .As luck would have it, I first saw Les parapluies de Cherbourg (1964) about two years too early--before my first trip to France. I didn't have a clue about how faithful it is to everyday French life. I'd already seen and enjoyed at least a couple of Jacques Demy movies by then: his ravishing first feature, Lola (1960), one of the seminal works of the French New Wave, as well as his charming sketch on "la luxure" in The Seven Capital Sins , one of the long-forgotten portmanteau features of that era. My trouble with Demy began with The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and with its alleged charm. A completely sung movie with music by Michel Legrand, it can't truly be called a musical, an opera, or even an operetta, though it borrows elements from all three. But to my taste at the time, it was a commercial sellout, positively cloying in its calculated charm--a sentimental festival of gaudy pastels (it was Demy's first film in color) that cried out for mainstream acceptance, and even had the brass to feature an Esso station prominently in the final sequences, a case of unabashed product placement if there ever was one. . . “What a dunderhead I was. Moreover, my misunderstanding of Demy's achievement was shared by many others. In this country people got the idea that Demy was a minor director, and kept that belief for the remainder of his career . I began to suspect the error of my ways only when I caught Demy's extravagant 1966 Umbrellas spin-off in third or fourth run, during my second summer trip to Paris-- The Young Girls of Rochefort, an unabashed musical with an even better Legrand score, featuring Gene Kelly, George Chakiris, and Grover Dale (not to mention Catherine
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2011 for the course SLS 492 taught by Professor Swenson during the Winter '11 term at BYU.

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rr-6 - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les parapluies de...

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