Jacques Demy’s beloved musical sensibilities brought to France the style and glamour of Golden Age Hollywood extravagance with the grace and grounded human elements embodied by the French New Wave of the 1960s. With The Umbrellas of Cherbourg he took the emotional intent of the musical format to the next level by not only coating the film in a candy-colored, dreamlike cinematic look, but by maintaining the emotional grandeur of the format by translating all the film’s dialogue into song. The conventions of rhyming lyrics or melodic variance matter not in this operatic ode to young love, as the film is an artistic reflection of reality rather than the overly fantastical incarnations of its Hollywood counterparts. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a beautiful, dreamy, but simultaneously grounded work of musical magic from an international legend, and one that influences and delights many of the filmmakers of today.
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The Twin Geeks · Ep. 76: Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (1964)