Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tonight we watched Jacques Demy's astonishing cinematic experiment The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a sorrowful tale of love lost, wherein every single line of dialog is sung instead of spoken -- not like a musical where there are song and dance numbers, but literally the entire film! I've never seen anything like it. Composer Michel Legrand (who did music for other New Wave directors including Demy's wife Agnès Varda, as well as Godard) hit a homerun with this puppy. It really is captivating.

Plus, the colors in this film are explosive, perhaps more so than in any other picture I've ever seen.

I also noticed that Demy invented the camera trick I'd always attributed to Spike Lee, you know the one where he has the characters standing still but moving through the landscape, a trick Lee uses in practically everything. In film school I'm pretty sure we even reffered to it as "the Spike Lee shot" -- how wrong we were, it's actually the Jacques Demy shot.