Jacquot de Nantes (1991)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  France, 1991.  Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Ciné Tamaris, La Sept Cinema, Sofiarp.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda, based on the memoirs of Jacques Demy.  Cinematography by Patrick Blossier, Agnes Godard, Georges Strouve.  Music by Joanna Bruzdowicz.  Production Design by Robert Nardone.  Costume Design by Françoise Disle.  Film Editing by Marie-Josee Audiard.  Toronto International Film Festival 1991.   Jacques…

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The Young Girls Turns 25 (Les Demoiselles Ont Eu 25 ans) (1993)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5.  France, 1993.  Ciné Tamaris.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda.  Cinematography by Alexandre Auffort, Stephane Krausz, Patrick Mounoud, Georges Strouve, Agnes Varda.  Music by Michel Legrand, Jacques Loussier.  Cannes Film Festival 1993. It’s astounding how much love and affection Agnes Varda packs into 64 very short minutes. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary…

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Model Shop

BB.5 (out of 5) We reunite with Anouk Aimee‘s Lola from the film of the same name when, nine years later, she catches the eye of Gary Lockwood while walking the streets of Los Angeles.  He’s in a bad place in his life given that his girlfriend no longer wants to deal with his commitment-phobia, his…

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The 400 Blows (Les Quatres Cents Coups)

BBBBB (out of 5) Classic coming-of-age masterpiece about a young boy (Jean-Pierre Léaud) growing up in Paris with a negligent mother and an assortment of charismatic friends.  He enjoys moments of childish fun but also gets himself into serious trouble at equal turns, suffering his disadvantages as long as he can before finally running away from…

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Three Seats For The 26th (Trois Places Pour Le 26)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jacques Demy’s last film is a pleasant tribute to his favourite genre of musicals.  Yves Montand plays a fictionalized version of himself returning to Marseilles to star in a stage musical about his life and career. A young woman who works in a perfumery (Mathilda May), recently shamed by the incarceration…

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Une Chambre En Ville

BB.5 (out of 5) Jacques Demy looks to recapture the glory days of Umbrellas of Cherbourg with another chamber piece in which there are no musical numbers but all the dialogue is completely sung.  This time the centre of action is not an umbrella shop but an apartment in Nantes, where Danielle Darrieux lives in fear…

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Parking

BBB (out of 5) Jacques Demy pays charming tribute to Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus with this semi-remake of the 1950 classic. Francis Huster and his perpetual eighties headband play a popular singer named Orphee, preparing for a big concert while spending his off hours at home with his beloved Eurydice (Keiko Itô).  After being electrocuted by his…

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Lady Oscar

BB (out of 5) After being given a number of daughters, totally useless to a pre-revolutionary French aristocrat, a man decides that his latest child, also born a girl, will bear the name of Oscar and be raised as a son.  She is dressed in pants, given a male companion and taught to be an…

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Donkey Skin (Peau D’Ane) (Once Upon A Time)

BBBB (out of 5) Hilarious fairy tale with a bent sense of humour, definitely targeted to grownups but perfectly suitable for children. Catherine Deneuve plays the luminous princess of a castle whose father promised her mother on her deathbed that he would never remarry unless he found another woman as beautiful as her. When his subjects…

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The Young Girls Of Rochefort (Les Demoiselles De Rochefort)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jacques Demy follows the success of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg with another musical. This time the entire dialogue track is not sung, and the format is more like a traditional American musical. Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac (Deneuve’s real-life sister) play music teachers in the beautiful town of Rochefort who are looking for…

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The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies De Cherbourg)

BBBB (out of 5) Taking the conventions of the musical genre and using a tragic storybook romance as a basis, director Jacques Demy and composer Michel Legrand present a fully-sung story about a young umbrella seller (Catherine Deneuve) who falls in love with a garage mechanic (Nino Castelnuovo) and wants to marry him.  As in…

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Bay Of Angels (La Baie Des Anges)

BBBB (out of 5) Claude Mann plays a bank teller who one day decides to join a friend and go to a casino for a little fun. Initially warned against the addictive qualities of gambling, Mann ignores his friends and family and forges ahead in a new career of risk and loss, winning more and…

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