Cinemagic of Jacques Demy

French director who caught the essence of 1960s style gets a retrospective in Berkeley
Demy
Director Jacques Demy in his prime: a 13-film retrospective.

A young man, a bicycle, a rainy night in a seaside city in the north of France, music so gorgeous yet so drenched in regret by Michel Legrand you’re crying before the credits end. Then the young man enters his place of employment—a car repair shop—and begins to sing!

Do you love high-1960s style, with candy-cane colors, striped wallpaper, and an innocent, young Catherine Deneuve with bows in her hair? Can you handle an oh-so-sad yet really-quite-wise love story in which every line of dialogue is sung?

Then don’t miss The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, by director Jacques Demy, part of a 13-film retrospective at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley running July 25 through August 31.

Demy (1931-1990), a New Wave director whose sensibility was clearly rooted in a more romantic time, made his first film in 1961, Lola, starring Anouk Aimeé as a prostitute, who shows up in a later film, Model Shop, in, of all places, Los Angeles.

One of the charms of Demy’s films is his joy in shooting on location—Paris, small cities in France, the beaches of LA—while making real places seem like fairytale dreams.

For more on the Jacques Demy retrospective, click here.