All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
a film for all the young lovers of the world
This simple romantic tragedy begins in 1957. Guy Foucher, a 20-year-old French auto mechanic, has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery, an employee in her widowed mother's chic but financially embattled umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève make love. She becomes pregnant and must choose between waiting for Guy's return or accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant.
Beautiful. I want to live in this movie.
Enter the world of Jacques Demy, where realistic tales can unfold themselves in charming and colorful surroundings. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is an elegant musical which feels just like pure and ordinary life.
It is a very honest form of narrating that Demy has taken into use. The story progresses in a very focused way, without taking any melodramatic turns along the way. The story is about love and establishment, were we follow a young couple in a small and charming town at the north-west coast of France. When the male part leaves for the army, the girl is put into a simple dilemma which will determine her whole future. The plot is simple, but it is something which everyone…
I lost track of how many times this movie made me cry. Sometimes I lost it just from being overwhelmed by how perfect the sets and colors were, and the sadness, and especially every time the theme played.
I'm still crying.
I want to watch it again.
the dual forces at the heart of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, decadent bubbly musical and bitter hapless neorealism, don't typically coexist on screen. so the question seems to be, for me, whether Demy is letting them fight for emotional control, or just hiding the sad stuff with the cheery stuff, or does it matter based on the viewer's outlook? because when I started internalizing the narrative it was amazing how quickly all the ludicrously colorful sets dissolved away, and how quickly I forgot that everyone was singing every damn word. what does it say about a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic when he only sees the devastating irony behind the facade of hope?
Glad I finally saw this so I know it IS possible to make a great musical that also handles devastating human traumas in a social context. And Demy even does it under generic trappings of bright colors, sing-speaking and the jazzy bombast of Michel Legrand's score (both ironic counterpoint and pure expression of genuine feeling). Take notes, Tom.
“I can’t live without him. I’ll die.” “Stop crying. Look at me. People only die of love in movies.”
The beauty of the classical Hollywood movie musical—a uniquely American art form if ever there was one—is its intrinsic artificiality. People simply do not express their innermost feelings in instantly composed song, nor do strangers break into perfectly choreographed spontaneous dance. But choosing such an unreal mode of expression permits the musical to give voice to profoundly real emotions often left unspoken, deepening their impact.
Of course, we Americans can only take these ersatz outbursts in limited doses. The French know no such inhibitions. If an isolated song can accentuate the emotional intensity of young lovers’ adulation or heartbreak, then surely…
My post on Criterion's THE ESSENTIAL JACQUES DEMY box:
I couldn't tell you anything about the plot of this movie, I was too busy being distracted by the amazing wallpaper. Why doesn't life look more like this movie?
I wish I'd been able to like this more because it's (obviously) a technical tour-de-force. The photography, the production design, the costumes, it's all so fabulous and colourful and looks like it must've taken a phenomenal amount of effort to get right... but I think this move is either just too French or too sophisticated for my tiny uncultured brain. I don't like Amelie either so maybe the problem is I just don't have a heart (looking at all the five star "I LOVE THIS, IT MAKES ME CRY!" reviews)? Who knows? Normally I love a good romantic musical but the music here is not my thing (I guess kind of a cross between opera and jazz?) and the romance…
I want Demy's production designer to decorate my future home.
Typically musicals where every line is sung rather than the bursts of "emotion on their sleeves" numbers tend to bug me. I'm not sure why I'm more predisposed to accept one style of musical over the other, but when this one started I had to work around it's sing-songy style of narrating this story. Sadly, it was something I could never fully embrace, and always left me a little distant to an otherwise fun musical.
That ending is worth the extra half star bump. One advantage of it not being a Hollywood produced number, we get a beautiful, if tragic ending to this tale.
You really just can't beat those colors and the music and the feeling. Or Nino Castelnuovo's face. That's a nice face. Demy creates a movie musical that they simply just don't make anymore. Seriously though, those colors are absolutely marvelous. I want to live in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. That film’s coloring is simply some of the best ever put on film. It’s hard to beat Cherbourg’s cinematography.
Si no se sienten aunque sea un poquito tristes con la escena de la despedida del tren, no tienen corazón.
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