Jacques Demy, and though they were restored a few years back, with the help of Demy's widow, Agnès Varda and her Ciné Tameris -- THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT in 2011 and THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG in 2013 --
The Criterion Collection and Janus Films, a Blu-ray of each is available this month. It was worth the wait. TrustMovies has now seen each of these films a few times, beginning with their original theatrical release in the USA (Cherbourg in 1964, Rochefort in 1968), and I can honestly say that neither movie has ever looked better. (I am including in that assessment the viewing of each on the big movie-theater screen.) Yes, I miss 35mm film, too, but damn! this hi-def digital image looks sensational. Now, this is partly due to the fact that Demy was not exactly subtle with his color palette. His colors -- so many pastels and deep, rich saturations -- are constant and gorgeous. and that's his point. He wanted us to ooh and aah, and drool ourselves silly. And do we ever!
Catherine Deneuve stars in both films but Rochefort gives us the rare opportunity to see her late and greatly talented (and also gorgeous) sister Françoise Dorléac (at right in the two photos above) in action. Her untimely death at age 25 brought an end to a career that might have been the equal of Deneuve's.
Gene Kelly (two photos above), George Chakiris and Grover Dale (center left and right, respectively, below), and a very talented ensemble, too.
Danielle Darrieux and the young and adorable Jacques Perrin, with Michel Piccoli doing a fine job as the unjustly spurned lover with a problematic name. If you're a virgin to these movies, here's your chance to see them at their best, but if you're already a fan, you won't want to miss this new and top-notch opportunity.
Criterion, both films hit the street this past Tuesday, April 11, on Blu-ray and DVD -- full of terrific "extras." as per usual with Criterion -- and are available for purchase, and I would hope for rental, too, on DVD or streaming. (Maybe eventually via The Criterion Channel on FILMSTRUCK.)