I don’t do this very often, but here’s a pointer to something on the BBC iPlayer. Under Jacques Demy’s Umbrella is a short radio documentary about two of the greatest movie musicals, both of them directed by Jacques Demy. There are some spoilers, but I loved the show a great deal and couldn’t wait to recommend it.
There’s discussion of Les Demoiselles de Rochefort and the even-better The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a “film in song” that is much like an opera, in that not a single word is spoken.
Actually, Umbrellas is the far better film of the two, no matter how lovely Les Demoiselles is. It’s just one of the most special films I have ever seen. I covet a sparkling Blu-ray edition more than I should publicly admit.
The show provides the context for you, so I shouldn’t say too much more. Bottom line, though, Demy was a master of a vibrant, hyper-real cinema, glowing with emotion and joy and a kind of deep, sweetness. This tribute contains some archive quotes from Demy, his musical collaborator Michel Legrand and star Catherine Deneuve. Don’t miss.
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