Archive for May 20th, 2009

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by Allan Fish

(France 1967 124m) DVD1/2

Aka. Les Demoiselles de Rochefort

Twins born in the sign of Gemini

p  Mag Bodard, Gilbert de Goldschmidt  d/w/ly  Jacques Demy  ph  Ghislain Cloquet  ed  Jean Hamon  m  Michel Legrand  art  Bernard Evein

Catherine Deneuve (Delphine Garnier), Françoise Dorléac (Solange Garnier), George Chakiris (Etienne), Jacques Perrin (Maxence), Michel Piccoli (Simon Dame), Gene Kelly (Andy Miller), Danielle Darrieux (Yvonne Garnier), Grover Dale (Bill),

It was a film I avoided for a long time.  It got slashed to pieces on its release forty years ago, and in North America at least it hasn’t recovered.  It was only on when I got the DVD that I settled down to see why the reaction had been sorutal; some influential critics defended it, Jonathan Rosenbaum most notably.  Besides, I’d warmed to Demy more as I grew older, his flimsiness and style over content not being the crimes I once prematurely accused them of being.  So let’s take that plot, for it forms both the defence and the prosecution when the film is on trial.  Its detractors point to its convenience, the predictability with which it resolves its various strands and episodes.  The characters weave in and out of scenes like couples on the dance floor, the plot thus flows rather like the camera of Demy’s beloved Max Ophuls (and Darrieux’s appearance, with memories of La Ronde, Madame de… and Le Plaisir, only adds to that feeling).  (more…)

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