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.…
“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…
My Jacques Demy boxset arrived in the mail, and I didn't waste any time diving into it - starting with his most popular film. The fact that I had heard so many great things about his films, even before Criterion released this boxset, meant that I had to get properly acquainted. Blind-buying a boxset is a risky venture but I had a good feeling I wouldn't be let down.
Starting with The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, I was hit with the realization that this film is not just a musical in the traditional sense (which is all I knew going in), but a film that's entirely sung! The charcter's body language and tonal swings reflected in song just as they would…
At first I thought the sung conversations were a bit strange, but after I got used to them I like them quite a bit, maybe even more than traditional songs. I also really liked the vibrant and colorful art and costume design throughout the film. This is one of the better musicals I can remember seeing, and definitely worth a watch.
Pound for pound, maybe the most beautiful film ever made. Every aspect from top to bottom is gorgeous.
one of the best love stories, original score by michel legrand brings me to tears nearly every time ! very special "musical" cine enchante and a super young catherine deneuve.
Upon the bajillionth rewatch of this modern art masterpiece, I notice the deep tragedy of Mme. Emery (Genevieve's mother) painted out in subtle hues. She is a pretty lonely Widow who conceals her lack of money with faux-bourgeois splendor (she owns her own boutique, the wallpapers of her apartment are lined with striking floral patterns, etc.) She has been taught to only think in terms of dollars and cents because that's how one gets by in this society; for all its dreamy romanticism, Umbrellas's dream-dashed characters live on a meager, quotidian basis that puts emphasis on commerce and wealth, not art and dreams. (Jacques Demy's oeuvre is a rebellion against these unbalanced priorities inherent to today's money-driven civilization. His concern…
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this, but receiving a pure, full-throttle French New Wave Musical/Opera was exactly what I needed and more. Also, count me as shocked to find out that the Love Theme for this was "I Will Wait for You" (a dear favorite of mine) and that the original lyrics were written by Jacques Demy himself.
In other words: I'm in total awe.
ok but the colours in every single scene and the way they roll together are SO nice and i love them and this and the hairdos??? and costumes? its SO pretty and it's so just - just - so nice, everything about this is NICE
Sorry for the inconvenience but I'd just like to say the French New Wave changed my life
The musical is not my favorite genre, so I was wary going into The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a movie in which every line of dialogue is sung. I thought it might prevent my immersion into the story, but I was pleased to find I was wrong. After 10 or 15 minutes, it became strangely natural, and I found myself absorbed in this beautiful, Technicolor Cherbourg world.
And it is beautiful. Much of the pleasure to be had is in the set design, the eye-popping color, and the camera work. It certainly appears to be a direct influence on Wes Anderson's aesthetic palette.
The story begins in a conventional way but changes course and closes on an unexpected note. It begins…
Even though it was released in 1964, it feels like I've just discovered something awesome. I've never seen a musical where they sing every single line of dialogue. usually its more like "Wait this is too dramatic to say it with words, I have to sing it with words!*cheesy dance number*". This was awesome. I've never had a musical that is so beautiful make me so sad before.
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!