THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT
LES DEMOISELLES DE ROCHEFORT
1967, Janus Films, 120 min, France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Director Jacques Demy's love letter to American musicals, French cityscapes and romance in general is one of his greatest triumphs. The movie tells intersecting stories of a number of young dreamers - among them Catherine Deneuve, Francoise Dorleac and Danielle Darrieux - who continually miss meeting their ideal mates by mere city blocks - city blocks that are all authentic, as Demy matches realistic location shooting with sheer flights of musical fantasy. This odd but satisfying hybrid of dreams and reality is enhanced by Michel Legrand's score and Demy's typically precise color palette. With Gene Kelly and George Chakiris. In French with English subtitles.


THE HUNGER
1983, Warner Bros., 97 min, USA, Dir: Tony Scott

Twenty years before anyone had ever heard of TWILIGHT, director Tony Scott was bringing impossibly glamorous bloodsuckers to the big screen. Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie star as a pair of upscale New York vampires who draw geriatrics researcher Susan Sarandon into their circle when age begins to catch up with one of them. “I must say, there's nothing that looks like it on the market,” remarked Bowie on release, and the film's rich sense of atmosphere inspired a cult following and a TV series. Watch closely for a performance by goth music icons Bauhaus, and one of Willem Dafoe's first movie roles.


BELLE DE JOUR
1967, Janus Films, 101 min, France, Dir: Luis Buñuel

Housewife and glacial beauty Séverine (Catherine Deneuve), frigid at home with her doctor husband, indulges in private erotic fantasies that range from sadomasochistic to scatological. To realize her innermost sexual proclivities, Séverine becomes a prostitute at a local brothel, working only on weekday afternoons and taking on the moniker Belle de Jour. Forty-five years after its initial release, Luis Buñuel’s subversive mega-classic is as boundary-pushing as ever, its deft mix of edge and lightness underscored by Deneuve’s nimbly cool performance. In French with English subtitles.


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