THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG
LES PARAPLUIES DE CHERBOURG
1964, Janus Films, 91 min, France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Auto mechanic Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) gets girlfriend Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve) pregnant just before he leaves to fight in the Algerian war; they swear eternal allegiance to one another, but circumstances force Genevieve to marry another man and move to Paris. Jacques Demy tells this story entirely through music and lyrics, yet his musical is no fantasy - as critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has pointed out, it's an accurate portrayal of Paris that uses style to "exalt the ordinary." It's a one-of-a-kind film opera: a movie that is entirely artificial and stylized yet tough, complex and unsentimental - and more deeply moving than a dozen more conventional melodramas. In French with English subtitles.


LOLA (1961)
1961, Janus Films, 90 min, France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Jacques Demy’s feature debut was described by its director as a “musical without music,” though “a love story without love” may be just as appropriate. Roland (Marc Michel, who would later play the same role in Demy’s THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG) is smitten with his former girlfriend, Dietrich-esque cabaret dancer Lola (Anouk Aimée), but she pines for the lover who abandoned her years earlier. French New Wave mainstays Raoul Coutard and Michel Legrand provide the cinematography and score, respectively. In French and English with English subtitles.


NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN
1983, Park Circus/MGM, 134 min, UK/USA, Dir: Irvin Kershner

Sean Connery learned not to say “never” when he returned to the screen as James Bond after swearing off the role following DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. In this second adaptation of Ian Fleming’s Thunderball, the British Secret Service agent must recover a pair of nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE operative Maximillian Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Made outside of the franchise’s usual Eon Productions, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN features some new faces playing familiar characters (Max von Sydow as Blofeld, Edward Fox as M) as well as Kim Basinger and Barbara Carrera as the requisite “Bond girls.”


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