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Archive for December 24th, 2014

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© 2014 by James Clark

 I’m assuming that most of you have not seen the Jacques Demy fantasy/musical Peau d’Ane (Donkey Skin [1970]). But here it is anyway, not for the sake of exploring macabre Surrealist nightmares but with regard to its having become, in France, as omnipresent a Christmas-season classic as It’s a Wonderful Life is, for us.

While it is one thing for a Frank Capra to serve up “happily ever after,” we should not miss the edifying incongruity of a vastly alienated and ironic figure like Demy in the kitchen whipping up some comfort food. Peau d’Ane has to be seen in a markedly disjointed manner to make the mainstream grade—perhaps glanced in tandem with catching up with Grandma or a long-lost uncle. As such, though, it does afford an unexpected shower of not only the quirky physical comedy always in Demy’s oven (though generally clouded by an insistent death-spiral) but also at least one song (“Cake d’Amour” [“Love Cake”], by Michel Legrand, that comes across as a peppy and touching carol (as sung in a duet featuring a deceased queenly mother and her hard-times daughter).

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HysasPjF84

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