All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. 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.
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.…
Connected with Demy's debut Lola (1961), not only because taking place in the famous place of Cherbourg that was mentioned a lot, but also because of character references, such as Lola's infancy friend Roland Cassard and Lola herself, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg represents the epitome of Demy's musical delightfulness. We saw it coming since Lola, perhaps subconsciously, but now his musicals do have singing and complement the situations marvelously.
I had personally never imagined to see a director officially considered as a part of the Nouvelle Vague movement adapting the Hollywood tradition to the big screens of France with renowned actresses such as Anouk Aimée, Jeanne Moreau and Catherine Deneuve. And what was…
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…
Now, I'm pretty new to musicals, at least musicals where no one stops singing for a single second. Every line in Jacques Demy's Les parapluies de Cherbourg is in tune, and for me that took some getting used to. It was right around the time Ne me quittes pas comes to the fore, that my mood changed from bemusement to fondness. Its melody accompanies the opening credits, but it wasn't until Catherine Deneuve starting singing the lyrics that the true force of this film hit home.
The film is a period piece of sorts, with the story being set in the late 50s as Geneviève and Guy fall in love, but are separated when Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) is drafted and…
“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…
An operatic musical made beautifully and intrinsically cinematic through its precisely composed mise en scene and vibrant, colorful melange of a visual palette, this film is a stunning portrait of love, encompassing the whole arc of a relationship in its swift 90minutes, both a giddy, rush of infatuation's romantic sentiment as well as a starkly adult romantic tragedy.
The film stands apart from other big screen musicals in its lack of show stopping numbers, instead staying true to its operatic style and transforming the whole world into a stage for the central pair's love. The film's excellent music turns every mundane conversation and heated argument into a lyrical expression of emotion that seems to flow from the same reservoir as the flowery declerations of love.
I think I liked this as much as it's possible for me to like a musical. Beautiful set design and cinematography combined with an clever, interesting script. And Catherine Deneuve!
This gorgeous candy-colored dream is both a love letter and a rebuttal to the golden age of the Technicolor American musical.
Production design and cinematography are the first triumphs, with artful compositions framing every shot and coordinated costume and set design, where characters wear clothes that happen to be coordinated with the decor of the room they are in.
Then there is the central conceit of every line being sung, which stands in contrast to the basic musical-theater premise: that you sing when your emotion is too big to contain mere words. But when even the most mundane line spoken by a background extra is sung ("A black umbrella, please" "Here is today's mail"), the film takes on a heightened,…
It was nice to watch this movie.The characters are finely molded and this story has happened in many people lives.But it has been explained
how it happens and life is as it is.....
If I were in a Jacques Demy film, I’d want to sing too. Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a wonderfully colourful, wonderfully lightfooted watch. It’s never fluffy, though, and never frothy. There’s a sadness and a helplessness to all the characters here that works as a lovely bittersweet note against the bright fantasy of the colours and the music. Everyone falls in love here, and everyone gets married in the end. Just not necessarily to the people they’d planned. And happily? Who can really say. These people are too pragmatic, too well drawn to resolve their story in a way that easy to judge.
Best wallpaper ever committed to film, by the way.
Best railway departure scene in all of cinema.
Best ever rain’s-eye-view of umbrellas on cobblestones opening sequence too.
One of the most sublimely perfect cinematic experiences of all time. I've had the pleasure of seeing it twice on the big screen. Moving in every way, the majority of the credit must go to Demy and Legrand who created one of the best operatic scores of the 20th century. I long for the day when an opera company in NYC can produce a stage production in French. There's an English language version that's played in the UK, but took many liberties with the style, score, and characters. Sadly, this version was Legrand-approved (he even oversaw much of it), so there's no real way to get the rights or orchestra parts to put on the score as heard in the…
I'm not much for the idea of singing every line of dialogue, as one character jokingly interjects early on (while singing, of course), because usually around the midpoint I grow tired of the same flavor and inflection in each actor's delivery. That being said, the visual vibrancy of color splashed across every frame kept me intrigued and the latter half of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg did pick up again, it's heartbreaking central romance working me over quite well.
"People only die of love in the movies", Geneviéve's mother says/sings, and this one is at the same time the perfect and the worst place for a thing like that to happen. The surface of this thing is one of the most emotionally expressive concepts ever (all through the first scene I thought this was gonna be one of my favorite films ever), but it hides an agressively realist tale of love giving way to doubt and distance. The union of the two makes me uncertain at times (The Caker Baker gets it), but anyway this is brilliant as hell.
This may be one of the best film I've ever seen. So beautiful. So touching. Denueve deserves a monument.
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!