“En-Chanté”: The World of Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand
About the film
Les Parapluies de Cherbourg dir. Jacques Demy (1964)
Catherine Deneuve plays an umbrella-shop owner’s delicate daughter, glowing with first love for a handsome garage mechanic, played by Nino Castelnuovo. When the boy is shipped off to fight in Algeria, the two lovers must grow up quickly. Exquisitely designed in a kaleidoscope of colors, and told entirely through lilting songs by the great composer Michel Legrand, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is one of the most revered and unorthodox movie musicals of all time.
En-chanté: The World of Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand
This year 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the beloved French film musical Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, created by director Jacques Demy and composer Michel Legrand. This bittersweet tale of two young lovers is sung from beginning to end, with no spoken dialogue—a bold and unique idea at the time. To celebrate the anniversary, this series will present it alongside two other classic musical films by Demy and Legrand, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1966) and Peau d’Âne (1970). Together, the three form a kind of trilogy, exploring themes of love, separation, regret, and family. All feature the actress whom Les Parapluies helped launch to stardom, Catherine Deneuve. Legrand’s magnificent musical scores range across many styles, including jazz, the romantic, and the neo-baroque. Prior to the screenings, Walter Frisch will present remarks to discuss the social, cultural, historical, and musical contexts of the films within their time and within the careers of Demy and Legrand.