Chorus Film Club (Week 1): The Young Girls of Rochefort (Jacques Demy, 1967)

Discussion in 'Entertainment Forum' started by brandon_260, May 2, 2016.

  1. brandon_260 Prestigious


    Jacques Demy followed up The Umbrellas of Cherbourg with another musical about missed connections and second chances, this one a more effervescent confection. Twins Delphine and Solange, a dance instructor and a music teacher (played by real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac), long for big-city life; when a fair comes through their quiet port town, so does the possibility of escape. With its jazzy Michel Legrand score, pastel paradise of costumes, and divine supporting cast (George Chakiris, Grover Dale, Danielle Darrieux, Michel Piccoli, and Gene Kelly), The Young Girls of Rochefort is a tribute to Hollywood optimism from sixties French cinema’s preeminent dreamer.

    The Young Girls of Rochefort
    The Young Girls of Rochefort | Netflix
  2. OhTheWater

    Let it run Supporter

  3. adammmmm

    bad boy Prestigious

    sick! been wanting to watch this for a while
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  5. Chassi

    compa Prestigious

    Nice can't wait
  6. brandon_260 Prestigious

    Forgot to note that I'm gonna run this Monday-Sunday this time, instead of Friday-Thursday
  7. brandon_260 Prestigious

    Yesterday was my second viewing of this. When I first watched it, I thought it might actually trump The Umbrellas of Cherbourg as my favorite Demy film, but yesterday proved that's not the case. I still think the film is quite incredible. Jacques Demy sits with Godard and Resnais as the most interesting French director of the 60s, and the run he had from Lola to this film is probably one of my favorite in all of cinema. There's a lot to love about the film. Demy's color palette was the first thing that drew me to him when I saw stills from Cherbourg. The balance of aloofness and melancholy is so beautifully handled that it takes until the end to really realize how sad some of these characters are. It is, in my eyes, his funniest film, but unfortunately the impact of a lot of the humor is lessened by the translation to English (particularly the Mr. Dame joke, which when pronounced makes his name sound like the French equivalent to Ladies and Gentlemen). I think my favorite part of the film this time around is the centerpiece song. It's so weird, not just in the fact that it's an ever-changing version of our original introduction to the girls, but also the way instruments drop in and out without any sense placement. I know the French New Wave and it's affiliates are known for their lack of regard to formal structure but this in particular seems to me like Demy pushing himself out there the most.
    ChaseTx likes this.
  8. Dean

    Trusted Prestigious

    Hadn't seen the thread til now, but this is one I've been meaning to watch. I'll try to soon.
  9. adammmmm

    bad boy Prestigious

    going to watch this tomorrow
  10. OhTheWater

    Let it run Supporter

    Yeah my bad I've been finishing up classes all week
  11. adammmmm

    bad boy Prestigious

    I loved this. I wanted to watch Demy's films in order, and this one is certainly the most flamboyant and confident of his 60's films. The colors are tremendous and I like the music/structure of it much more than The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and where Cherbourg elicits sadness and grief, this film is giddy and hilarious, which is a nice change from Demy's first few films.
  12. brandon_260 Prestigious

    Haha everything you like more about this film is why I like Cherbourg more. I think it's so unique, while this is Demy playing closer to Hollywood musicals of earlier decades. They're both amazing though, and between the two showcase every aspect of Demy's work.
  13. ChaseTx

    Hail seitan Prestigious

    I don't have the context of the director's previous work or even much in the way of its contemporary musicals (I think the closest thing I've seen is White Christmas) but I enjoyed this. Like others have said I enjoyed the light mood and matching color palette. I appreciated the humor and music as well. It was really bizarre how the characters made light of the fact that their family friend murdered a woman with an axe. Anyway, I'm glad this got picked because I'd have never have watched this if someone hadn't told me to. And I have this melody stuck in my head now.
  14. Chassi

    compa Prestigious

    I loved this film. It's my first Demy and I'm kicking myself for not watching one of his films sooner. Its clear he's a huge fan of American musicals, the dance numbers and using perhaps the most iconic American musical icon show that. It what he does in making it a really French film (with the humor and cultural references) that really make it stand out. I love the way he uses colors, some being so bright they explode off the screen, while others are much more sun dried.

    It's interesting to note that the film takes place before the 1968 unrest in France, and how the tone of French films were going to change literally right after this film. It probably spelt the end of musicals such as this.

    Overall, very sweet movie
  15. brandon_260 Prestigious

    I'm quite curious about Demy's later work. There's a lot of it on Hulu but I've only seen Donkey Skin and Une chambre en ville, which were both included in the Criterion boxset. They're easily my least favorites by a large margin and the rest of his later work has a similar level of general reception. I'm mostly curious about A Slightly Pregnant Man, which has Demy directing Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni in a film where the Mastroianni becomes pregnant from eating too much chicken.