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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Jacques Demy

An angelically beautiful Catherine Deneuve was launched to stardom by this dazzling musical heart-tugger from Jacques Demy. She plays an umbrella-shop owner’s delicate daughter, glowing with first love for a handsome garage mechanic, played by Nino Castelnuovo. When the boy is shipped off to fight in Algeria, the two lovers must grow up quickly. Exquisitely designed in a kaleidoscope of colors, and told entirely through the lilting songs of the great composer Michel Legrand, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is one of the most revered and unorthodox movie musicals of all time.

“Jacques Demy is a cinematic alchemist. Ever present in his body of work is an uncanny ability to transform or combine standard, even banal, elements of various genres into ‘gold’—or, rather, something so luminous and rarefied that it can only be Demy who’s created it. THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG is arguably the best of his films, and almost certainly the first film of his to so fully bend genre and style convention.” – Kathleen Sachs, Cine-File

“Beneath the jazzy pop and aching strings of Legrand’s orchestrations is laid the brutal essence of the couple’s dissolution: War separates them, and economics makes their reunion all but impossible… Through its poignant finale, a virtual snow-globe scene in a nighttime gas station, Demy and Legrand give their unhappy love story a depth that, beneath the tinsel and Technicolor, only comes with a beating, broken heart.” – Slant

“Rarely, at least since the end of the silent era, have the movies produced such a stirring, unabashedly sincere display of pure feeling, represented in color, movement and song. Even the most cynical viewer, if he’s not careful, may find himself overwhelmed.” Time Out

“Demy’s revolutionary use of vibrant color is a strong departure from the highly stylized black and white films of the French nouvelle vague. Michel Legrand’s compositions are more characteristically fused from jazz and opera than structured from traditional Hollywood musicals. The story has distinct elements of neorealism It is an exhilaratingly beautiful narrative of a contemporary love story.” – Strictly Film School


  • 12/22 | 6:00PM
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