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.


MODEL SHOP
1969, Sony Repertory, 95 min, USA/France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Gary Lockwood stars as a young American who falls in love with French model Anouk Aimée, in Jacques Demy's only Hollywood studio feature (it was financed by Columbia). Aimée reprises her role as the titular character of Demy's first film, LOLA, but neither she nor Lockwood is the real star of MODEL SHOP: That honor goes to the city of Los Angeles itself, which Demy photographs with the same blend of wonder and authenticity that characterizes his French films. This is no idealized version of Hollywood - it's an L.A. of supermarkets and parking lots - yet Demy's romantic eye lends a style and dignity to even the most mundane people and locations. In English.


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.


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