14 May 2014 9:38 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Written and directed by Jacques Demy

France, 1964

Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Busby Berkeley, Vincente Minnelli, Arthur Freed: names synonymous with the movie musical. Missing from this standard list is a key contributor to the form, the French director Jacques Demy. Perhaps part of the reason for his widespread unfamiliarity, even to those who adore the genre, is that Demy only directed a handful of musicals in his entire career. It’s also likely that the musical is simply thought of as an American type of movie, and therefore, “foreign” practitioners don’t quite warrant similar attention. In either case, Demy did amplify the genre with at least two major works, one of them the recipient of the Palme d’Or at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which also received four Academy Award nominations (at least some American love there), is not just an exceptional musical, »

- Jeremy Carr

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