Archive for December 11th, 2013


© 2013 by James Clark

For all the fertility of his endeavors, it must, I think, be acknowledged that the career of Jacques Demy traces a quite relentless decline from initial efforts of breathtaking cogency. Of course, such a claim needs specific fortification. Here we have no interest in seriously comparing early and late films; but, in showing an early work of consummate subtlety, we can suggest the likelihood that subsequent instances won’t match what we’re about to see. As recently touched upon, his debut film, Lola (1961), strikes me as having evoked wonders of delicacy and wit in pursuit of an elusive, harsh true love. The two musicals of the 1960’s reach divine heights, while at the same time distancing specific sensibilities in becoming increasingly absorbed by conveying thematic concerns regarding Pandora’s Box and Surrealism. After that, such machinery becomes even more destructive of the carnal deftness seemingly so effortless in Lola.

There is, in the film directly following Lola and preceding the musicals, namely, Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels [1963], a second golden moment, like its predecessor gently moving toward a form of Pandora’s Box, but never relinquishing its visceral situation. And here we bring it forward, not only for the sake of cueing up the mother lode of Demy’s invention (and where that could take us), but for a particularly timely celebration of Christmas. (more…)

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