WORLD OF JACQUES DEMY, THE (L’UNIVERS DE JACQUES DEMY)
(director/writer: Agnes Varda; cinematographers: Stephanie Krausz/Georges Strove; editor: Marie-Jo Audiard; music: Michel Legrand/Michel Colombier; cast: Agnes Varda (Narrator); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; Wellspring; 1995-France-French in English subtitles)
“A joyful personal tribute to internationally acclaimed French New Wave filmmaker Jacques Demy.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A joyful personal tribute to internationally acclaimed French New Wave filmmaker Jacques Demy, directed by his widowed acclaimed filmmaker wife Agnes Varda (“Vagabound”/”Cleo from 5 to 7“/”The Gleaners and I”). Demy died in 1990 at age 60.
The film follows Demy’s movie career when as an 18-year-old from Nantes he moves to Paris to study film and soon afterwards enters the business. There are film clips from his first feature film Lola (1961), and an informative eye-opening look at some of his other films (commenting on financing and creativity problems) such as his opera masterpiece The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, my favorite film of his The Young Girls of Rochefort, Model Shop, Bay of Angels, The Pied Piper, the fairy tale musical Donkey Skin, Lady Oscar, A Room in Town and Three Seats for the 26th.
There are interviews with his children and those who knew Demy through work such as Catherine Deneuve, Anouk Aimee, Michel Piccoli, Michel Legrand, Jeanne Moreau, Dominique Sanda and long-time set designer Bernard Evein.Also there’s intimate home movies of him during a visit by Francois Truffaut and the late Jim Morrison. Throughout we learn of Demy’s love for Hollywood musicals, his kindness and strong work ethic.
Ms. Vardaacts as narrator. It’s essential viewing for fans of the great filmmaker, which includes me.
REVIEWED ON 8/16/2010 GRADE: A-