Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1h 29mins
Part of the ‘A Cinematic Odyssey: Postcards from Europe’ strand.
Over half a century after its initial release, Jacques Demy’s transcendentally gorgeous musical remains timeless.
In a French port town during the late 50s, umbrella salesgirl Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve) and auto-mechanic Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) are deeply in love, and inseparable. Military service for Guy and struggling business for Geneviève test this, and each one vows to wait for the other - but life has many ways of interfering.
On paper, the story may seem insubstantial, but Demy and composer Michel Legrand quite literally make it sing: every word of the film is sung without the least hint of awkwardness, giving even the most mundane situation a lyrical magic. At the same time, the film does not neglect realism, showing an unusually great emotional maturity in its plot and characters and grounding every song in a recognisably human world. Likewise, the photography captures tangible urban locations in a vividly colourful but not prettified light. Demy’s film does not deny the uplifting fantasy of the movie musical or the crushing reality of real life, but blends both together in a captivating way, creating a masterpiece unlike any other.
The film will be introduced by Dr Paul Sutton, who will stay for the end of the film for a post- screening discussion in the auditorium.
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