Jump to content


Episode 147 - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (w/ Jen Yamato)


19 replies to this topic

Poll: Episode 147 - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (w/ Jen Yamato) (39 member(s) have cast votes)

Should "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" enter The Canon?

  1. Yes (30 votes [76.92%])

    Percentage of vote: 76.92%

  2. No (9 votes [23.08%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.08%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Dalton Maltz

    Foruman

  • Moderators
  • 813 posts

Posted 25 March 2018 - 07:32 PM

LA Times writer Jen Yamato joins Amy this week to discuss the 1964 French-German romantic musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” They talk about the background of director Jacques Demy, the film’s focus on youthful romantic optimism, and how “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” went against the tone of French cinema on its release. Plus, we’ll hear about the film’s use of color to reflect emotion and feeling as well as how it frames the ultimate tragedy of dreams that are destined to die.

#2 Johnny Pomatto

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 80 posts
  • LocationNew York

Posted 26 March 2018 - 11:21 AM

Rather conflicted on this one. It should be an easy YES, if for no other reason than to give a little "fuck you" to LA LA LAND, but somehow I don't know if that's enough. I discovered THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG when I was about 12 years old and yet to fall in love myself. Not only was I fascinated by Demy's unique style and approach to the musical genre, but I was swept up in what I found at the time to be an incredibly mature love story. I was so used to the "happily ever after" endings in the films I had seen up to that point. While not as extreme and ending as Romeo and Juliet, I decided that this must be a great love story if it ends in such a sad way without our two young lovers living out a lifetime of bliss. Obviously Guy and Genevieve are not meant to be together forever, and might not have had the happiest of lives, but they don't know or think about that when so young and in love. If often find myself somewhat nostalgic over the feelings I felt in my very early, teenage relationships. Not because I carry any sort of torch for those particular exes, (I'm incredibly relieved I didn't marry a college girlfriend whose parents were pushing me towards that direction), but it is powerful to remember the intense feelings of infatuation and lust that one felt when they weren't necessarily thinking about the complications that a future together might bring them. Guy and Genevieve may both be better off in their separate lives than they would have been together, but that doesn't make their memories and youthful ignorance any less romantic. And I appreciate that we flash forward to the future to see them content, if perhaps a little wistful. It's a refreshing change from the films that end with such romantic optimism. Even a fine example of that genre, SAY ANYTHING, leaves me doubtful at the end that John Cusack and Ione Sky will stay together forever.

I would also call attention to Michel Legrand's music, which though often bouncy, bubbly, and seemingly repetitive, offers a lot of complexity and subtle changes in style throughout the film. I took a class in college about music in film and I examined and noted every time the rhythm and style changed in the music and what happened in the narrative or dialogue to change it. Regrettably I've misplaced my notes from 16 years ago, but I remember at the time of really enjoying charting the musical changes, and I still love how it compliments Demy's often very matter of fact dialogue. I love how banal and ordinary the topics of conversation are sometimes, but set to the music they seem poetic. I always thought the film might have more punch if in addition to the bright colors mostly vanishing at the end, if the characters also suddenly spoke their lines instead of singing them. This is, after all, a memory story, and so the colors and dialogue are heightened by the abstract fantasy lens of two characters in love.

And lets talk about the color palette in the film. Even on mute, this film is gorgeous to look at. A young Catherine Deneuve is always going to make that possible, but it's still quite a feat for any musical to accomplish. The use of color and design is pretty glorious in this film. It's also harder to imitate than one might think. Even when Francois Ozon would try to replicate the look of Demy's work in films like POTICHE and 8 WOMEN, (also with Deneuve), it doesn't seem to quite carry the same punch, perhaps due to lack of consistence and the attention to detail that Demy's films seem to have. So I clearly do really enjoy this film, and have barely said a word in detraction. I suppose I'm a YES for this, although I don't know if we need both this and PENNIES FROM HEAVEN in The Canon, though I do enjoy them both. I suppose I would vote this in for the sake of Demy representation. This is probably my favorite film of his, though LOLA, THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT and THE PIED PIPER are also worth seeing. Clearly not everyone responds to the romanticism of this film, and to cynically roll one's eyes at the importance applied to this first love is not entirely inappropriate. But I do think this film is worth seeing, especially at a young age, just to see if this works its magic on you or not.

#3 Nathan Roberson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 91 posts
  • LocationNew York, NY

Posted 26 March 2018 - 11:43 AM

Already voting yes as I press play on the episode.

Edit:

Now having finished the episode, I have to say: Amy, your suspicions are correct. You are a space alien. Loving The Greatest Showman and not swooning over The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is all the proof I need.

#4 sycasey 2.0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 517 posts

Posted 26 March 2018 - 11:56 AM

For me this is an easy slam-dunk YES.

There was a lot of discussion about how much you buy into the "romance" between the leads, but for me the genius of Umbrellas of Cherbourg is that the movie works whether you buy it or not. If you really believe in the love between Guy and Genevieve then their separation is a tragedy and the ending is a reminder of their lost love and you sob (as Jen Yamato presumably did). If you don't, then the ending is confirmation of their improved maturity and a wistful reminder of the heightened emotions of your youth. Or maybe you're Amy and you get distracted by a yellow scarf (kidding!).

There's no need to have a debate over which interpretation is right, because as presented in the film they are both right. It is a little bit of a tragedy to have lost that youthful yearning and romance. But it's also perfectly natural. Your life experiences will teach you that a lot of things are ephemeral. You can see this in Guy's characterization in the final sequence at the gas station. He clearly does still think of Genevieve, but on the other hand he doesn't seem unhappy with Madeleine or his family life (Madeleine seems like a pretty great wife, to be honest). We don't see as much of Genevieve's life with Roland, but again I don't think there's any indication that she's doing badly either. The same dichotomy, this fission between the romantic and the practical, plays out throughout the film: mundane dialogue sung with passion, candy colors that fade into a subdued winter palette, Genevieve's lovelorn yearning regularly undercut by her mother's pragmatism, etc. It's the whole point of the movie, that the one thing cannot exist without the other. Life requires you to balance what you want with what you need.

I'm a fan of La La Land as well, but in that film it seems clearer that Damien Chazelle really believes in the romanticism and considers it a tragedy that young love was lost. This is evidenced by the fact that he replays the romance in a fantasy sequence right before his gut-punch ending. Jacques Demy has a more nuanced and interesting take on it. To me the final scene does not play as a gut punch, it plays as something that just always was going to be. It's the transition to adult life, in microcosm. It's sad and comforting at the same time. This week's rewatch made it plain for me: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a masterpiece. It definitely belongs in the Canon.

#5 Film Explorer

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts

Posted 26 March 2018 - 02:35 PM

Is it against Cannon Law to love Umbrellas of Cherbourg and La La Land?

#6 sycasey 2.0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 517 posts

Posted 26 March 2018 - 02:41 PM

View PostFilm Explorer, on 26 March 2018 - 02:35 PM, said:

Is it against Cannon Law to love Umbrellas of Cherbourg and La La Land?


Nope, I think they're both great!

(Umbrellas is greater.)

#7 bleary

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 93 posts

Posted 26 March 2018 - 03:09 PM

I keep saying that La La Land is much better when you realize that the main characters are both awful people.

Anyway, I'm definitely with Amy on this one: Umbrellas of Cherbourg is just okay. Part of my issue with it is that I didn't buy into the operatic nature of it. Jen suggested that she loved that such mundane pieces of dialogue were being sung so dramatically. I saw that as a bug rather than a feature, as it just felt stupid to me. Another issue I have is that it wastes a song as beautiful as "I Will Wait For You" by mocking the sentiment scenes later when she doesn't wait for him. Are we meant to think that sort of romanticism is juvenile? Or are we meant to think that Genevieve just kinda sucks for not waiting for him? The former undercuts the power of that song, and the latter is sort of the La La Land situation again, where you're stuck disliking a romantic lead. I do wonder if part of Damien Chazelle's inspiration from Umbrellas of Cherbourg was to intentionally make his romantic leads unlikeable, and moreover, overcome the imbalance of this film by making both of his characters fairly equally unlikeable. The imbalance in Umbrellas of Cherbourg taints the ending for me, because I feel bad for him and not really for her, since it was her decision to forgo their planned future. I like how La La Land gets around this by not actually showing how the dissolution happened, although the awkwardness of the meeting in Umbrellas of Cherbourg is much more realistic, as pointed out in the episode.

Anyway, I expect that this will get in pretty easily, but it's a soft no for me.

#8 FictionIsntReal

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 26 March 2018 - 04:49 PM

I'm in a situation as Black Orpheus: I personally don't like the film all that much, but can concede it's canonical. The Canon is not simply a list of films enjoyed by me, a person with no exes who does not relate to supposedly universal experiences (I just had to compare its end to that of La La Land). The sung-through style is very unusual, and while I'm not a French speaker, it seems to pull it off. I actually prefer the use of color in earlier films from Powell & Pressburger, but I don't think their opera adaptation, Tales of Hoffmann, works as well as Demy's work created specifically to be a film.

I watched Demy's trilogy in order this weekend, and the unbearable fluffiness* of Rochefort (a more conventional musical) certainly made this look better in comparison, even if it doesn't have nearly as much dancing (admittedly, not something I'm interested in). I also like that it's a sequel where you don't really need to see Lola first, although you would then have gotten to see how Roland went through love & loss whereas the object of his affection had her willingness to wait for her first love rewarded. I didn't see Roland as a fool making the same mistake twice (though I did regard him as insufferably French in his lack of pragmatism in Lola): he's failed once but he's willing to try again both with & without the knowledge that Genevieve is pregnant by another man. He's already at the stage the other characters reach later where they settle for someone other than their first love. I also saw Genevieve's mother as interested in him herself. It seemed a somewhat toned down parallel to Mrs. Desnoyers in Lola, another widow raising a daughter on her own (although in that case a daughter too young for Roland to pursue).
*Despite the inexplicable inclusion of a subplot about a woman being butchered

I found Amy's complaint about the actors not being the singers odd. For one thing, isn't every animated film voiced by people other than those onscreen (unless rotoscoping is used)? Cherbourg is hardly unusual in this even as a live-action musical: Tales of Hoffmann did it for most of its parts (even letting both people appear in the credits at the end), and Amy's own favorite Pennies From Heaven just has the actors open their mouths while old-timey music comes out! Of course, I didn't enjoy anything about Pennies From Heaven and voted against it. Even aside from musicals, most Italian movies used to have dubbed international casts, and I certainly think Leone & Argento belong in the Canon. It's funny how Amy & I agree on Punch Drunk Love and liking Madeleine more than Guy & Genevieve but differ on such basics.

One thing I think is missing from the film: we don't actually see any of Guy's service to know what he's thinking or if there's any reason few of his letters reach her. This is in keeping with Demy's rule throughout the trilogy to only show scenes in the one city the film is set in (Nantes, Cherbourg or Rochefort), but since this film violates the Classical Unities by taking place over a longer period of time, he could have made an exception. I suppose it parallels how we don't see much of Genevieve's life after she marries Roland, with the brief exception of her stop at the gas station.

#9 Cronopio

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 100 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Posted 27 March 2018 - 09:41 AM

When I was a young punk I was the kind of person that would state "I hate musicals!" Gun to my head, I would admit 'All That Jazz', 'NewYork, New York' and 'Singing in the Rain' are great, "at least they're unsentimental" I'd say, pretentiously smoking a cigarette. My girlffiend (now my wife) declared "you're an idiot" and took me to "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" at the cinema when it was re-released in 1996 and I saw the enormity of my idiocy. Watched it in astonishment and loved it from the first frame to the last. The color palette, the camerawork, Legrand's music, Demy's directorial touch, the audacity of the entire thing brought me to my knees and I spent the next few months catching up on all the musicals I'd dismissed and preaching the gospel of Jacques Demy (I have the box-set of his movies, which I am forcing my children to watch). All this is to say that I voted yes.


And if you love La La Land and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, I have a movie recommendation for you: Jacque Rivette's "Up Down Fragile"

#10 Filmspotter

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 27 March 2018 - 01:25 PM

I have a real soft spot for ‘Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ - this was my introduction to the world of Jacques Demy - and by extension, Agnes Varda. I first saw it about 10 years ago, when I was in the first stages of my relationship with my now husband - amazingly we both loved the film... and it wasn’t some sort of harbinger of doom (we weren’t teenagers when we watched it, mind!)

I, with my husband, run a touring ‘pop up’ community cinema in the U.K., and this was always on my list of films I wanted to screen. We finally did a screening of it a couple of years ago, to a community group - mainly aged in their 60s, upwards: lots of people who remembered at least the music from the film, if not the film itself - and it really set off heated debates. People who had ‘rose tinted’ memories of it being the archetypical romantic French film, hated the ending. People who had no personal connection to the film, generally enjoyed it. It was incredible to see some of these people expecting an easy, gentle old movie grapple with the ‘non-traditional’ (more realistic) ending. We got some serious complaints from the screening, but I love it when films spark debate and discussion, and I certainly experienced that with this film.

I personally adore the music, use of colour, and the fact it is oh-so French in the details (and so particular to this area of France), but at the same time, so universal in its theme.... so as you’d probably guess, it’s a yes from me!

#11 rickyssofake

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Posted 27 March 2018 - 02:17 PM

During the first half of the movie, I was leaning towards no. I felt like Amy: the singing of mundane lines felt forced, and I felt like the two new leads knew Guy would have to serve, so their bad timing was kind of their fault.

But throughout I kept thinking why the umbrellas? Umbrellas being a seasonal product (and one that is not disposable), there's no way even during the 60s, that umbrella stores could be economically feasible (which we eventually learn to be the case). It was only in Part 2, while Genevieve is faced with a marriage decision, did Demy's pushing of the symbol make sense to me: similar to what Jen said, it's a symbol for shelter in a crisis beyond your control. What's so heartbreaking about this movie is how these characters stray from their plans because of larger forces, and how they cling (and eventually grow to love) these safety nets (or to go with the metaphor, how they never leave from under their umbrellas).

I found it interesting how two of the biggest gut punches this movie gave me were the marriage decisions. In another movie these Genevieve and Madeleine would be more terrified of becoming a single mother or staying single; but what hurt them the most were their decisions to allow men to "save" them under imperfect circumstances. Demy knows that sometimes what's more terrifying than conventional failure is the knowledge that your decisions have been made for you.

Also side note: Nino Castelnuovo is stupid hot in this movie, and it needed to be mentioned :lol:

#12 uh_tom

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 28 March 2018 - 08:43 AM

For me it’s a vote of YES for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. I first saw it with no idea how it would go, and having only Disney musicals under my belt. Disney musicals begin somewhat traumatically but always end uplifting, while this musical starts off gently but eventually delivers a punch to the gut. Since then I’ve seen more musicals, but they almost uniformly fit into the happy resolution camp. This movie is important because it is so unique for a musical. Until recently I could think of nothing else quite like it.

Umbrellas is so bright and cheery and happy in the beginning, and uses the color and music to set up the ending to excellent effect. I see the film as Demy saying that sometimes things just don’t work out. He shows us that people will make choices in the short term that they must live with for the long term. He shows that people carry the baggage of their relationships into the future. He shows us that life has happiness and grief and that it just goes on. This film was released in the middle of the French new wave. It seems to me to be made in this spirit.

We are conditioned to expect happy or at least emotionally resolved endings, particularly in musicals. When they don’t arrive we, the general audiences, get angry. I like Umbrellas in part because I don’t think it has a conventionally happy ending for any character. That said, I don’t think it’s a sad story either. At least not in the tradition of sad movies that build toward a death or something.

I enjoy the sung through style, and the little theme songs for people. I like the voice acting just fine, and read or saw somewhere that the music played while the actors were filmed. This indicates to me that sound and its matched motion are primary aspects of the director’s thought in preparing the scenes. The colors are variably bright to drab as discussed and change throughout the film to support the story. I really think our auditory and visual circuitry are designed to impact us first by emotion and second by intellect. My guess is that the movie is intentionally that way. It works first on a visceral level. This film, shot in black and white, with the dialog spoken, would be much less effective.

#13 dallywinstonlivez

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 28 March 2018 - 02:00 PM

Clear yes on this one. I love every part of Cherbourg, but two things are particularly canon-worthy. First, the use of colour is second to none. Vibrant colour and intricate patterns have been used in so many movies but never more effectively than here. Characters will be wearing clothes that pop against the background in one room, step into another room and remove a layer to give an entirely new palate to the film. Second, I agree with Jen about the ending being one of the greatest in the history of cinematic romance. And speaking of Call Me By Your Name, every time I see it I become more convinced that its ending is influenced by Cherbourg. Although the time line is very different, what is happening is basically the same: former lovers reconnecting and putting on brave faces despite real pain and longing. Completed by the giant, gracefully falling snowflakes enveloping the interactions, the two final scenes provide sober, chilly, melancholic endings to otherwise lush, warm, and sensual films.

#14 franklinshepard

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 28 March 2018 - 05:01 PM

Long-time listener, first-time caller. I have strong opinions about a lot of these episodes and I finally decided to register and vote.

Ok, I basically agree with Jen 100%. But I did want to say a few things: first of all, this movie is not Demy's tribute to the MGM musicals of the 40s and 50s - that's his next film, The Young Girls of Rochefort. Honestly, I would say that movie is even more canon-worthy than this film. I think it's better musically, choreographically, cinematographically (that's not a word) and dramatically. I thought it was odd that Amy kept bringing up Lola (which is a terrific film) and didn't mention Young Girls at all. If only one Demy/Legrand/Deneuve film makes it in the canon, it should be Young Girls, which somehow manages to be even more heartbreaking with a much more traditionally happier ending.

The other thing that I wish Jen had said to Amy is that yes, these two lovers are stupid and naive. But it's Legrand's music that gives their love actual emotion and dimension. As we see in West Side Story, music makes a tragic love story far more profound and deeper than it would be otherwise. If the "I Will Wait For You" scene was just dialogue, their love would feel silly and meaningless. But Legrand supplies a melody that practically forces us to feel for them. And this is also why the end of the film is the gut punch that Amy refers to. If Legrand's music weren't so powerful, that last meeting would be nowhere near as potent.

Also, Madeleine is a terrific character and there is absolutely nothing wrong with identifying with her. She understands what it means to be in love far more than Guy and Genevieve do.

#15 jmhimara

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts

Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:40 AM

I vote yes on this one, even though I rarely care for musicals, be it in film or in theater.

Speaking purely on style, I think Cherbourg succeeds where a lot of other 'good' musicals fail to be good films. In many musicals the signing and dancing overshadows all the other aspects of a film, leaving them neglected (perhaps by the very nature of song and dance - they demand our attention). Cherbourg has no large and flashy choreography. The singing is subdued and resembles more a recitation rather than signing. This, accompanied by a bright, colorful visual style of the film brings a delightful and refreshing balances to the whole thing.

#16 sunjockey

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 29 March 2018 - 01:51 PM

I immediately voted no on the film, not because I had any particular disliking of the film, but just that it wasn't one that has stuck with me. Then, I began to think about it and the impact the film had on not only French cinema, but many musicals. I went back and changed my vote to Yes. I feel like it's one of those prototypical canon films where it doesn't necessarily blow me away, but it is an essential foundation film for many that came after it.

#17 sycasey 2.0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 517 posts

Posted 29 March 2018 - 03:09 PM

View Postfranklinshepard, on 28 March 2018 - 05:01 PM, said:

Also, Madeleine is a terrific character and there is absolutely nothing wrong with identifying with her. She understands what it means to be in love far more than Guy and Genevieve do.


Yes, I actually root for Guy to get with Madeleine more than Genevieve.

Team Madeleine!

#18 Roberto!

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:46 PM

I can think of few movies besides this one that are so honest and vulnerable about love (it is somewhat curious that Call Me By Your Name is in that canon and also disliked by Nicholson). It is very smart about depicting people being in love. Guy is introduced simply being excited to get out of work to go on a date (and no one who isn't in love gets that excited about the opera), Genevieve can barely even wait for the umbrella store to close. I don't know how it is for everyone else, but I've noticed a giddiness that makes every moment shared a small joy. The way that Guy smiles after being pricked by the pins in Genevieve's dress is one that only happens when you're in the thick of it. (Although, I'm guessing that only people you have intimate relationships with are going to be the ones in danger of being pinpricked. It's a real hedgehog's dilemma). When Guy's draft notice comes in, even that gets turned into an opportunity to declare undying love.

Of note, is the eponymous umbrella store and how much it plays into that promise of love and how the movie chooses to follow up on that. How can Genevieve wait for Guy when the store she is so used to waiting for him in is no longer safe? I don't know if that's the intention of the film, but it is my experience that so much of youth is tied to the sense-memories of the places where youth is experienced. Guy doesn't have the same relationship with the store as Genevieve, so the loss that he feels the most is his aunt's death. They both serve to wake up the characters to the idea that they can't be the people they used to see themselves as (which in large part was people eternally in love with each other).

I think I'm talking around the idea that I want to get at, which is that a place, a moment, and a situation are all essential to our deepest loves and convictions, but that shouldn't cheapen any of it. It just means that if it should ever leave us, what we miss is more textured and overall, maybe just more.

#19 Shrew

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 29 March 2018 - 07:49 PM

This is one of my classical cinema albatrosses. I can appreciate its beauty and importance, its frank socioeconomics and gutpunch ending, but my blackened heart is incapable of love. Yet this is hard movie to hate, so I must bear the shame of my indifference without even the consolation of gleefully tearing down a sacred cow.

Besides my apparently dead heart, I have two issues with Umbrellas. One, Legrand’s music is wonderful, but the intentionally banal dialogue-lyrics are not. It isn’t just that they’re bland, they’re often downright unmusical, trailing off before a progression resolves or the musical phrase ends, meaning the score needs to vamp for a few beats until a new phrase/lyric can begin. All that creates dead air in the conversations, dragging the film out and breaking up the natural rhythms of speech. I get the attempt to uncover the forgotten meaning and emotion hidden in everyday conversation, but the recitation-singing does nothing for me. The exception to this rule is of course “I Will Wait for You” (and for some reason, most of the parts with Cassard sound more focused and arranged, i.e. his and the mother’s “à demain”).

Two, I just find the faces of people singing to be inherently boring, as if when the voice becomes more expressive the face becomes less. Deneuve actually overcomes this here, but Castelnuovo’s best moments are definitely when he’s quiet. Further, by focusing so much on singing, Umbrellas—akin to a lot of recent, mediocre adaptations of great stage musicals (Les Mis, Into the Woods)—neglects another key element of the classical musical: movement. Not just dancing, but movement of the actors within the frame and of the camera itself. Similar to Amy’s comment that the colors are maybe a bit too much, I think Demy overcompensates for lack of movement within the frame by whirling the camera or punctuating scenes with dollys in and out. That’s more interesting that shot/reverse shot coverage that dominates of a lot of contemporary musicals (cough, Greatest Showman), but movement is a key genre element that Umbrellas is never fully able to grasp and deconstruct in the way it does others.

So in the end I vote “No,” not because Umbrellas isn’t canonical but as a protest vote for Young Girls of Rochefort, which does get movement (and songs), and manages a much fuller and richer deconstruction of the musical that people choose to overlook because there’s a happy ending (which also includes an ax murder). But also, my own romantic experience has been more false starts, missed connections, needless doubts, and eventual (sofar) happy ending, so maybe I’m biased?

#20 BostonBrand

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 30 March 2018 - 06:58 PM

I'm not going to go on at length, because Jen Yamato said just about everything I wanted to say about The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and beautifully. What's funny is that the French movie musical I love with a fierce passion is actually Demy's next film, The Young Girls of Rochefort -- but I would never nominate that film for the Canon, whereas Umbrellas is a no-brainer for the Canon. The Young Girls of Rochefort is a messy, flawed, sprawling movie with ambitions that often exceed its grasp, and I love it for that. However, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is pretty perfect for what it is and what it wants to be. There's no other movie musical like it, except for movie musicals that are directly inspired by it (like La La Land, and -- yes, Amy -- Pennies From Heaven). And the ending destroys me, just as it does for Jen.