All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. 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.
When I was growing up in the 60’s, if my Dad wasn’t practicing piano, or we weren’t watching TV in the evening, the radio was always on. Now, being the mid-sixties, you would expect this would be a smorgasbord of Beatles, Stones, The Birds, and an assortment of early hippy fodder. Not so on CFRB 1010 AM, the station my parents listened to. CFRB was a conservative ‘adult’ radio station. In 1964 you would be very likely to hear Dean Martin, and very unlikely to hear The Beatles except maybe as part of the newscast reporting on how teenagers were losing their minds en masse.
One of the most likely songs you’d bump into was I’ll wait for you
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is something of an outlier in the French New Wave canon. It's predominantly a jazz opera, highly influenced by American musicals, and yet maintains a unique sensibility that defined new wave cinema. It's shot primarily on location in Cherbourg, but the real-life locations have been given an artifice through lurid Technicolor, studio-lighting, post-modern graffiti and a pastiche of delightfully outrageous costume choices.
This could be a loose adaptation of Pagnol's Fanny trilogy, or just as easily a musical rendering of Kazan's Splendor in the Grass filtered through the pastels of West Side Story.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg remains an utterly unique, delectable treat for the senses.
The idea of singing every single line of dialogue seems ostensibly ridiculous, so how did Jacques Demy make it seem as if there was never any other way of performing a musical? And not just your standard whimsical, epic romance. The story of Guy and Genevieve reminds us of the unforgiving nature of circumstance in a world drenched with vibrant technicolor. Melancholy has rarely looked so beautiful.
An opening Count Basie style swing number sends us finger clicking into a beautifully shot, Technicolor-land of yellows, blues and greens. When a young elegant Catherine Deneuve glides onscreen to complete the other half of this handsome couple, the spell being cast upon us is in full effect.…
Soothing, mournful, and delightful exhilaration from the first frame to the last. Didn't know that The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was actually a non-stop musical, but after that initial jarring moment, I was completely on board. It's a typical story of romance and adolescent passion laid against the harsh realities of the world, but every blooming color, gentle glance and sudden burst of cinematic exuberance swept me into a snuggling ball of warmth.
Every performance, musical note, and display of filmmaking technique culminates in a truly stirring experience, and by the end, I was crying and contemplating and smiling and experiencing all kinds of feelings.
If every other Demy film is like this, then I don't think I'll be able to take it.
“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 were 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…
I dislike musicals for the most part, but what I really hate are musicals that sing "pass the salt". That drives me batty. Musical numbers, you know, song and dance type of stuff ok if necessary, but singing dialogue? Ouch.
This was singing dialogue.
So you can imagine what the rest of the film was like for me to rate it so highly.
I thought Wong kar-wai owned reds and greens but boy he's got nothing on Jacques Demy's production designer. The colours are crazy, almost cartooney there for a while. In fact the first act is so bubblegum that you wonder if you should take it seriously but while you are making your decision something about it all comes…
I've just been gut punched by this. Will be revisiting soon.
When this was rereleased in Britain some 10 years ago a couple of people I knew who were old enough to have seen the film when it was around in the 1960s got very excited, their eyes lighting up in happy anticipation. There are many people whose opinions I respect who love this film, but it has never quite won me over. It is famously a ‘film opera’, all dialogue being sung to Michel Legrand’s music, which draws on popular French music, French song, and American jazz. Although Jacques Demy worked his way up through the French film industry in a fairly traditional way, the film is very close in its concerns and methods to the early work of Francois…
An absolutely mesmerizing and enchanting cinematic achievement. saccharine but with an endearing elegance. Every scene is warm and sincere paired with breathtaking albeit modest visuals. There really are so many great things about this film, but no words could do justice to the grand euphoria stuffed in such beautifully simple confines.
PEOPLE ONLY DIE OF LOVE IN THE MOVIES
Hits me with a ton of bricks on every viewing. This time the long shot of Guy leaving on the train with Geneviève standing stationary on the platform really did it. It's a perfect way to shoot the last moment these two are together, the last moment their relationship was where they will always remember it. The structure works wonderfully too. We never leave Cherbourg, and so the parts are equally balanced between Guy and Geneviève depending on whether they are there or not. Like many Demy films, it's as much about the city the story is set in as the characters who inhabit it.
Perfectly captures the tormenting longing of love by showing nothing but lament and romance. (who needs to pass the Bechedel test when all that matters is the male female relationships)
Aristotle would be proud - Geneviève is THE tragic heroine.
Like a picture, but moving, and better - this shot, man oh man.
I never thought I'd love a musical so much, a simple, effective masterpiece.
I consider this a superior companion/ascendant of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them. This movie wasn't chopped to shreds by Harvey Scissorhands, at least.
Darling little melodramatic operetta, with the daintiest couple you will see in any movie. Catherine Deneuvre was hypnotic, while the music was hit-or-miss with me since I could barely tell where one song ended and another began. A triumph of designs and composition, still.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
"Stop crying. Look at me. People only die of love in movies."
love in the movies is never the way it truly is in reality... so they say.
this film is the exception.
it is breathtakingly romantic regardless...
even though romance, in the end, is not the winner.
this movie is quite sad actually...
but it is so refreshing to have a musical with beautiful cinematography and a sad ending.
another refreshing addition, was that the music was beautiful but not catchy. but in a way, I can recall their voices and medley's in my head in an unrepeatable way. like remembering a picture in my mind but unable to draw it. I can remember the song, with no ability to sing the melody. the reason is most likely because of the unrepeatability of the songs themselves. there isn't much repetition, which to me is a good and bad thing.
WHY CAN'T I GO HIGHER THAN FIVE STARS
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