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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 31 Umbrellas of Cherbourg

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It's 3:30 and I'm sick guys. So I'm creating your thread. Now, some of you might ask, "But weren't you just throwing up two weeks ago?" To which I'd 'reply, "Why, yes, but this time it's food poisoning." So...fun times.

 

Not trying to make it about me, I just wanted you guys to have a thread and let you know why I might not be available for a bit.

 

Have a great day, guys!

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I'll just get this out of the way since I know we were all thinking it while watching the movie.

 

Warning: Do not click unless you want to ruin your day.

 

 

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OK, so let's talk about this movie! I loved it. One of the things that I did love about it that, even though it came about at the same time the French New Wave way happening, it was decidedly NOT New Wave in almost every way. It was full of color and life and unironic sentimentality. I honestly can't stand Breathless, I just find every element of that film that is not Jean Seberg insufferable. And while like Breathless, this film is really thin on plot (it's almost like a fable of young love, or at best, a screenplay outline), Umbrellas is charming and engaging from start to finish. The tragic ending may have been obvious from the beginning, as any story that begins with two beautiful young people in love will probably end with some tears, I was myself in love with the characters from start to finish. Hell, there really isn't even a villain here, which is another element I enjoyed. We're obviously rooting for Guy and Geneviève, but it's not like Roland is a bad guy, he just happens to be the epitome of upper class wealth (a fucking DIAMOND MERCHANT!) and is just around while Guy is at war. Madeline is also around when Guy gets back home, and it's not her fault she is not as ravishing as Catherine fucking Deneuve. It's mostly Guy's fault for not noticing her until Geneviève leaves him for Roland. The forces the characters are struggling against are the arc of history, economic hardship (unless you're a diamond merchant), and the class restrictions of provincial French society.

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Hell, there really isn't even a villain here, which is another element I enjoyed.

 

If you don’t think her mother was withholding/destroying some letters, you’re kidding yourself. :)

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Oh yeah, I totally thought that, and she certainly came off as neurotic and cloying, but it's not like we can blame her. Her daughter is off fucking some charming and handsome mechanic (and he was at at that!) while she is holding on to the last vestiges of her attempts to move up the social ladder. Owning a shop was a stepping stone to the upper middle class in post-WWII France, so her having money troubles and agreeing to sell her jewelry is basically acquiescing to never achieving that dream and spending the rest of her days in the same lower-class social run she was born into. Her daughter being impregnated by Guy, a gentleman but a man decidedly of the lower classes, was just another symbol of her family being further anchored to the lower rungs of society. A diamond merchant in love with her daughter must have seemed like a godsend.

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First off I liked the movie I didn't love it. Lovely to look at but the story and that left me wanting. A large part of this is to do with the mother. Her motives are clear but even though she claims to do a lot of things out concern and love for her daughter none of it actually is. It is all purely selfishly motivated. Granted I'm not living in France at this time period but one would think that if you had massive debt and couldn't afford it the first thought I wouldn't have is "I have to get my hair done." The mom was all about wanting to climb the social ladder to live beyond her means. So Roland is not a "bad" guy but he sees Genevieve and thinks she's beautiful. Never talked to her, but the mom is okay with this because he's rich. The mom doesn't care if she loves him or what his intentions are she just sees the money. It just became a slog in the middle with everyone of their conversations going,

 

"I miss Guy. I love him."

"Date Roland he's rich."

"I don't care about him. Not interested."

"Date him!"

 

It was just the same conversation over and over and over. The pregnancy was a curve ball but only slightly. Then there is the weird throwaway line that for some reason Guy's letters weren't being delivered which is never really touched upon. The dynamic between the two just brought down the middle of the movie for me.

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OK, so let's talk about this movie! I loved it. One of the things that I did love about it that, even though it came about at the same time the French New Wave way happening, it was decidedly NOT New Wave in almost every way. It was full of color and life and unironic sentimentality. I honestly can't stand Breathless, I just find every element of that film that is not Jean Seberg insufferable. And while like Breathless, this film is really thin on plot (it's almost like a fable of young love, or at best, a screenplay outline), Umbrellas is charming and engaging from start to finish.

I hadn't even thought of the cultural context of this movie. It seems weird think about it now, but would it have seemed weird then?I'm just thinking about we are smack dab in the middle of comic book, superhero, nerd movie heyday. Does it seem weird that we can choose right now between Star Wars and Call Me By Your Name? Or Star Wars and Moonlight last year? Or Star Wars and 45 Years before that?

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It's 3:30 and I'm sick guys. So I'm creating your thread. Now, some of you might ask, "But weren't you just throwing up two weeks ago?" To which I'd 'reply, "Why, yes, but this time it's food poisoning." So...fun times.

 

Not trying to make it about me, I just wanted you guys to have a thread and let you know why I might not be available for a bit.

 

Have a great day, guys!

Feel better, man! I feel for ya. I had some sort of cold-type thing right at New Years, and then I got the fucking flu last week (on the bright side, I learned that fuckin' Geostorm was exactly the kind of flu movie I needed in my life).

 

So I haven't had a chance to re-watch this yet either.

 

But I fucking love this movie so much. I totally agree with everything Quasar Sniffer said. The thing I love most about this movie is that it just wears its heart on its sleeve so damn much. It doesn't try to be cool or cynical; it lets its joy just wash over the screen.

 

It's hard to talk about this movie now without talking about La-La Land, but all the things that made LLL successful have their origin in this movie (and, to a lesser extent, the other two films in Demy's romantic trilogy). Even down to the ending, which Chazelle also kind of used in his first film, Guy and Madeleine on a Park Bench.

 

Also, I only watched "Jurassic Bark" one time because it bummed me out so hard I didn't ever need to see it again (I've had to say goodbye to enough dogs without having to think about them having to say goodbye to me, thanks), so I didn't even make the connection between that episode and "I Will Wait For You" until a friend pointed it out after I watched it the first time. That song is SO FUCKING GOOD, though. I think I listened to that song on repeat for, like, a month straight after I saw this movie. I rarely listen to music with lyrics I can't understand, but it just cuts right through me for some reason. And when they play that theme as Guy is getting on the train, I remember being like, "Oh, this is going to end badly" and getting kind of upset. AND THEN IT'S SO MUCH WORSE THAN I EXPECTED when the end comes. Like, it's not earth-shatteringly sad or anything, but it's such a weird bittersweet ending, and I love that the movie has the guts to end on something like that.

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umbrellas_titles.png.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge.png

 

Pretty good for a sci fi musical

I thought it was going to be an animated movie about an umbrella family or the inhabitants of an umbrella town a la Ratatouille.

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Also, I only watched "Jurassic Bark" one time because it bummed me out so hard I didn't ever need to see it again (I've had to say goodbye to enough dogs without having to think about them having to say goodbye to me, thanks), so I didn't even make the connection between that episode and "I Will Wait For You" until a friend pointed it out after I watched it the first time. That song is SO FUCKING GOOD, though. I think I listened to that song on repeat for, like, a month straight after I saw this movie. I rarely listen to music with lyrics I can't understand, but it just cuts right through me for some reason. And when they play that theme as Guy is getting on the train, I remember being like, "Oh, this is going to end badly" and getting kind of upset. AND THEN IT'S SO MUCH WORSE THAN I EXPECTED when the end comes. Like, it's not earth-shatteringly sad or anything, but it's such a weird bittersweet ending, and I love that the movie has the guts to end on something like that.

I think you get to something that is ineffable about this movie. Most of the lyrics are simplistic conversational dialog, but set to the music, it becomes actually profound when presented cinematically. Maybe that's because it's in a language I don't understand, that I am projecting profundity onto it? Who knows.

 

But that ineffability is also what makes the ending so, as you said, bittersweet. Guy has that white autoshop and a family, and Geneviève has a family and a secure life, but it's not with each other. With this quiet, beautiful image of the peaceful falling snow of this white garage, we are reminded that it took broken dreams to build that peaceful setting we are seeing. It's a beautiful realization of a dream nobody wanted, but that is still something heartfelt and genuine, something much more likely to lead to happiness than if Guy had died in Algeria or Geneviève and her mother were driven to destitution. You know, it's life, and it takes work.

 

Holy shit, did I just convince myself that the thesis statement for this movie is "c'est la vie"? This movie is French as a cigarette-flavored croissant.

giphy.gif

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Just finished watching. I did enjoy this one, But think the continuous/ coversational singing did wear on me a bit. But it's definitely one of the better ones we've covered that is all singing /no spoken dialogue.

 

The story was predictable but I still couldn't help but root for Guy and Genevieve. Even though I knew it wasn't going to have a happy ending.

 

I knew Genevieve would end up getting with Roland but figured itd be much later. She seemed to give up waiting for Guy pretty quick. It was super quick to accept his proposal and marry him...she was still pregnant. Figured she'd give in later or near the end of his 2 years if she still wasn't hearing much from Guy. (I also think her mom was hiding or getting rid of some of his letters).

And didn't really understand why Roland wanted to marry her, they barely had much interaction. Wasn't he out of town a lot? Seemed like he met up with her and her mom like 2 or 3 times and they got married.

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I knew Genevieve would end up getting with Roland but figured itd be much later. She seemed to give up waiting for Guy pretty quick. It was super quick to accept his proposal and marry him...she was still pregnant. Figured she'd give in later or near the end of his 2 years if she still wasn't hearing much from Guy. (I also think her mom was hiding or getting rid of some of his letters).

I had the same thought! As soon as Genevieve started talking about not getting letters I thought "Wait is the mom keeping them from her?" Also I'm not expert on conscription in war time but they must put them through some sort of basic training right? Maybe he is literally too busy to be writing more than once a month. Then like I said earlier he has a throwaway line about discovering his unsent letters at the hospital. He was trying to write but fate was against him.

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So this movie was all in French and I had to read the subtitles which were in Japanese so something could simply be lost in translation at some point, but there is one bit that confused me that hopefully somebody can clear up for me. When Genevieve is trying to decide between Roland and Guy the mother relates a story of her experience. It basically was along the lines of she was young and in love with a guy like Guy, but she married Genevieve's father instead and maybe wasn't as happy with him as she would have been with the first guy. Then she wants Genevieve to marry Roland because she doesn't want her to have regrets like she does. Is this accurate to what was said? The gist of it anyway? It seems to me if it is, isn't that a case for her to wait for Guy? The mother wants Genevieve to be happy, says she would have been more happy with her first suitor, and then urges Genevieve not to make the same mistake. That seems to point to "wait for Guy" not "take the safe bet"

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And didn't really understand why Roland wanted to marry her, they barely had much interaction. Wasn't he out of town a lot? Seemed like he met up with her and her mom like 2 or 3 times and they got married.

 

I had read that Roland's character is from Demy's previous movie, Lola. I think Roland was spurned in Lola and maybe that's why he kind of settled real quick for Genevieve? I felt bad for him, tbh.

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I watched this movie guys... I really did. It was on a screen in my home at some point in the last week, that I'm sure.

 

It was beautiful, like a sweet singing bag of candy conversation hearts, and I was wondering myself why it was on Mars at some point too until I had a flashback to french class... but otherwise I got nothing.

 

Oh... here's one. Since I was a little distracted... all the women sounded like the same person sung all their parts. They all had a high piercing falsetto.

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So, a big reason I liked this movie so much was Catherine Deneuve. We can all agree she was flawless, yes? I probably sound really shallow rn, but I thought she was gorgeous and I loved all her her makeup/hair and costume design. Honestly, those things stood out more than the overall story to me. I mean, this coat, come on. I still dream about it.

 

hDH0goy.png

 

I also loved the wallpaper in Genevieve's apartment.

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Whoa!

Cool.

 

Sorry I took The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I feel like it should've been your pick, lol.

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Sorry I took The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I feel like it should've been your pick, lol.

 

So what're you saying?

 

giphy.gif

 

JK! It was a great pick!

 

I'm gonna have to think long and hard on this one.

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I think you get to something that is ineffable about this movie. Most of the lyrics are simplistic conversational dialog, but set to the music, it becomes actually profound when presented cinematically. Maybe that's because it's in a language I don't understand, that I am projecting profundity onto it? Who knows. But that ineffability is also what makes the ending so, as you said, bittersweet. Guy has that white autoshop and a family, and Geneviève has a family and a secure life, but it's not with each other. With this quiet, beautiful image of the peaceful falling snow of this white garage, we are reminded that it took broken dreams to build that peaceful setting we are seeing. It's a beautiful realization of a dream nobody wanted, but that is still something heartfelt and genuine, something much more likely to lead to happiness than if Guy had died in Algeria or Geneviève and her mother were driven to destitution. You know, it's life, and it takes work. Holy shit, did I just convince myself that the thesis statement for this movie is "c'est la vie"? This movie is French as a cigarette-flavored croissant. giphy.gif

Maybe "c'est la guerre"? Would Guy have had to go into the military if there wasn't a war on?

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