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Born: Pontchâteau, France, 5 June 1931.
Died: 27 October 1990.

Jacques Demy (JPG, 11 KB)

One of the outstanding filmmakers of post-war France, Demy is best known for his first feature Lola (1961) and for Les Parapluies de Cherbourg / The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), his first musical proper. Demy was brought up in Nantes, a city he loved (the affection is well captured in Agnès Varda's moving film portrait Jacquot de Nantes, 1991), and where he made his earliest amateur movie. He studied cinema in Paris, training in short films with Georges Rouquier and later in animation with Paul Grimault. Lola, a lyrical poem to Nantes and the cabaret artiste played by Anouk Aimée, shared some of the aesthetic concerns of the New Wave (although Demy was not strictly part of it): location shooting, exuberant mise-en-scène—especially stunning camerawork by Raoul Coutard—and love for the American cinema. Les Parapluies de Cherbourg inaugurated the "bitter-sweet" Demy universe, with sentimental music by Michel Legrand, pastel colour-scheme, and the innovation of all-sung dialogue. The film turned Catherine Deneuve into a star and was awarded a prize at Cannes, but Demy never matched its popular success in his subsequent chequered career, although Peau D'Âne / Donkey Skin (1970), a sumptuous adaptation of the Perrault fairy tale, came near. Nevertheless, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967) and Une chambre en ville (1982), like Les Parapluies, beautifully illustrate Demy's original, if not totally satisfactory, pursuit of a specifically French musical genre.

— Ginette Vincendeau, Encylopedia of European Cinema

Lola (France 1961)
"La Luxure" episode in Les Sept Péchés Capitaux / Seven Deadly Sins (France 1961)
La Baie des Anges / Bay of Angels (France 1962)
Les Parapluies de Cherbourg / The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (France 1964)
Les Demoiselles de Rochefort / The Young Girls of Rochefort (France 1967)
The Model Shop (1969)
Peau D'Âne / The Magic Donkey (France 1970)
The Pied Piper (1972)
L'Événement le plus important depuis que l'homme a marché sur la lune / The Slightly Pregnant Man (France 1973)
Lady Oscar (1979)
Une Chambre en Ville / A Room in Town (France 1982)
Parking (France 1985)
Trois places pour le 26 / Three Places for the 26th (France 1988)

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