Les parapluies de Cherbourg

I worked my shift and after I returned home, I watched Barbra Streisand on The Judy Garland Show, Simon and Garfunkel on The Andy Williams Show, and Aretha Franklin on The Merv Griffin Show.  What was curious about the Simon and Garfunkel appearance was that canned laughter was added to “Mrs. Robinson.”  I watched the Blu-ray Criterion Collection disc of “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.”  What I liked most about the film was the use of color, which made me think back to “Dick Tracy.”  It brought back the feeling of the old MGM musicals.  When the colors of the characters’ clothes match the color of the room, it’s a funny and striking effect.  I wondered how much of the film’s budget went to paint and wallpaper.  I did notice sailors walking down the streets, which felt like a reference to “On the Town,” and also perhaps a foreshadowing of what would happen to one of the characters.  Catherine Deneuve was Geneviéve, the 17-year-girl in love with the 20-year-old mechanic Guy.  I couldn’t understand how Geneviéve’s mother could expect to make a living selling umbrellas.  You’re not going to sell any unless it’s raining or the forecast calls for rain.  When Guy had to go off to the Army, I thought of Francois Truffaut and his time in the military.  The part of the story where Madame Emery is fretting over money reminded me of Vittorio De Sica and “Umberto D.”  It’s too bad that the music wasn’t more to my liking.  The big feature of the film is that the dialogue is sung as in an opera.  At the beginning, there is a discussion of movies vs. opera, and the funny bit is that what we are seeing is both.  Aunt Elise was sick for a long time.  I wouldn’t have expected her to last for one month after Guy’s departure, but she was hanging in there.  Madeleine is the truly good character in the entire movie.  I couldn’t help thinking that she was in danger of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, but not even this musical would venture into that territory.  It does deal with matters you wouldn’t see in an American musical, so I couldn’t see Middle America giving this picture a seal of approval in 1964.  Jacques Demy said that he wanted to make audiences cry when they saw this film.  I wouldn’t say it was that sad.  Like Geneviéve’s mother said, young love is something that never works out.  I can say one thing about Guy, which is that he showed some strength in picking himself back up and realizing his dream, even if it was only to own his own Esso gas station.  I’m not so sure he did the right thing about his daughter, though.  The singing was dubbed, and since this picture is considered such a great work of art, Audrey Hepburn and The Partridge Family don’t look too bad in retrospect.  I like this movie a lot, although it doesn’t replace “Singin’ in the Rain” on my list of top movies.  I wanted the singing to go beyond the dialogue.  Now I’m more curious about “Hamilton.”  “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” was Jacques Demy’s greatest accomplishment, but I also liked “The Young Girls of Rochefort,” which featured Gene Kelly and George Chakiris.  I have never seen “Une chamber en ville” from 1982.  Demy died from complications of AIDS in 1990 when he was 59.  When I look back at Demy’s films, I’m glad that I can see things clearly in them, especially those bright colors.  When I saw “Independence Day: Resurgence” and “Now You See Me 2” recently, I didn’t know what I was seeing some of the time.  Some of the people who died on June 28 include James Madison (1836), Frank Sutton (1974), Rod Serling (1975), Maureen O’Sullivan (1998), and Fred Travelena (2009).  Today is a birthday for Kathy Bates (68) and Mel Brooks (90).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 28, “Heaven Can Wait,” starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, was released in 1978.  In 1980, Paul McCartney’s “Coming Up” was Number One on the singles chart.  In 1985, “St. Elmo’s Fire” was released.  In 1996, the remake of “The Nutty Professor,” starring Eddie Murphy, was released.

This entry was posted in Movies. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s