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Seniors’ Paid Matinee: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

+ intro by actor/director Burt Caesar

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg

Jacques Demy’s all-sung tale of first love is a ravishing mix of music, romance and fertile cinematic invention.

Image from Seniors’ Paid Matinee: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg + intro by actor Burt Caesar

France-West Germany 1964
Dir Jacques Demy
With Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon, Marc Michel
English subtitles
Certificate PG
A BFI release

Geneviève (Deneuve) is in love with car mechanic Guy (Castelnuovo), but her mother (Vernon) has other ideas. Her umbrella shop isn’t doing well; besides, there’s the war in Algeria… In Demy’s bittersweet classic Michel Legrand’s achingly lovely score, the vibrant colour-coding of Bernard Evein’s art direction, Jean Rabier’s elegant, fluid camerawork and the uniformly rhapsodic performances are brought together to turn an unusually sombre – even dark – storyline into an enchanting fairy tale that muses wisely, and very movingly, on the workings of chance and fate. Few filmmakers have dealt with the everyday realities of life so imaginatively, tenderly or magically.

Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large

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