A film musical in which every line is sung. The frame is about workers during a strike. They also prepare and perform a demonstration. Two personal relations develop against this background... See full summary »
Delphine and Solange are two sisters living in Rochefort. Delphine is a dancing teacher and Solange composes and teaches the piano. Maxence is a poet and a painter. He is doing his military service. Simon owns a music shop, he left Paris once month ago to come back where he fell in love 10 years ago. They are looking for love, looking for each other, without being aware that their ideal partner is very close... A film whose scenario is much less important than its feeling of euphory, according to the director Jacques Demy. Written by
'Girls of Rochefort' would amount to not much more than a mawkish, extremely sentimental film, if one only looked at the surface. But fortunately an original French New Waver made this (quite non-new-wavish) film and there's definitely more here if you care to look. Like its companion piece, the more popular 'Umbrellas of Cherbourg,' 'Girls of Rochefort' contains and exists to hint at and coelesce surprisingly hidden meanings behind the vulgarity and overstatement. Yes! Believe it or not these two films contain (much like the more obvious case of Jaques Tati's comedies) in their style, some of the deepest and I believe quite intentional (judging by the absolutely systematic understated style of Demy's first film 'Lola' which magnificently proves he can handle that 'understatement business' whenever it suits him) criticism of petty bourgeois values ever put on film. As for Legrand's music, it is sometimes great, sometimes extremely annoying to the point of nausea. Whether or not it was intended to actually do what it does in fact do--make the general public like it at its face and the 'artsy' people disgusted to a certain point, so they can imagine they're seeing Marxist criticism in it--will of course determine Demy's stature as either a premeditated master of cinema or a master in retrospect. Either way, mastery is the name of the game, and like the best American musicals these two flicks lend themselves to quite a bit of welcome ambiguity. As for purely visual delights: where else can you see both Francoise Dorleac and younger sister Catherine Deneauve,in their prime, blessing the screen simultaneously with their exquisite beauty?
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