LADY OSCAR
1979, Ciné Tamaris, 124 min, Japan/France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Adapted by director Jacques Demy and writer Patricia Knop from the Japanese manga The Rose of Versailles, this drama centers on an aristocratic young woman brought up as a man just prior to the French Revolution. With a father who’d hoped for a male heir, Oscar François de Jarjayes (Catriona MacColl) is raised to follow his footsteps in a military career; when she is eventually appointed to lead the Royal Guard, Lady Oscar enters the secluded and decadent court at Versailles. But as the plight of the common people deepens and popular tensions flare, she finds herself torn between a sense of duty and a young love committed to the cause of change (Barry Stokes). Quintessentially Demy in its aesthetics and subject matter, LADY OSCAR features lavish visuals and a score by the director’s longtime collaborator, Michel Legrand.


DONKEY SKIN
PEAU D’ÂNE
1970, Janus Films, 90 min, France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Also known as ONCE UPON A TIME, Jacques Demy's strange, lovely film tells the story of a devoted king (Jean Marais) who promises his dying wife (Catherine Deneuve, a Demy favorite) that his new queen will be equal to her in beauty. Of course, no one can compare to Deneuve, which leaves the queen’s daughter (also played by Deneuve) as the sole contender. Heeding the advice of a bizarre fairy godmother (Delphine Seyrig), the princess delays her father's incestuous advances using a series of impossible dressmaking challenges. In French with English subtitles.


BAY OF ANGELS
LA BAIE DES ANGES
1963, Janus Films, 79 min, France, Dir: Jacques Demy

One of director Jacques Demy's darker and more melancholy efforts, his second feature (following his triumphant debut, LOLA) tells the story of a vacationing bank clerk (Claude Mann) who gets involved with compulsive gambler Jeanne Moreau. The characters are surrounded by lush settings - the film takes place against the backdrop of Nice casinos and beaches - yet the obsessive behavior and gray cinematography undercut the glamour at every ironic moment. Legend has it that Jacques Demy wrote the script for this classic in three days during a production delay on THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG! Michel Legrand’s music is haunting. In French with English subtitles.


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