Jacques DEMY

Family tree of Jacques DEMY

Director

FrenchBorn Jacques DEMY

French filmmaker of the French New Wave

Born on June 05, 1931 in Pontchâteau, France , France

Died on October 27, 1990 in Paris, France

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After working with the animator Paul Grimault and the filmmaker Georges Rouquier, Demy directed his first feature film, Lola, in 1961, with Anouk Aimée playing the eponymous cabaret singer. The Demy universe here emerges fully-fledged. Characters burst into song (courtesy of composer and lifelong Demy-collaborator Michel Legrand); iconic Hollywood imagery is lovingly appropriated as in the opening scene with the man in a white Stetson in the Cadillac, daringly set to Beethoven's "Seventh Symphony"); plot is dictated by the director's fascination with fate, and stock themes of chance encounters and long-lost love; and the setting, as with so many of Demy's films, is the French Atlantic coast of his childhood, specifically the seaport town of Nantes.



La Baie des Anges (The Bay of Angels, 1963), starring Jeanne Moreau, took the theme of fate further, with its story of love at the roulette tables.

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Demy is best known for his original musical, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 1964), with a score by Legrand. Although the subversion of established genres was a typically New Wave obsession (notably Godard's playful thriller-cum-sci-fi, Alphaville), Demy was unusual in actually recreating them literally. The whimsical concept of singing all the dialogue sets the tone for this tragedy of the everyday. The film also sees the emergence of Demy's trademark visual style: whereas Lola, filmed by Godard's cinematographer Raoul Coutard, has a New Wave black and white austerity, Les Parapluies is shot in saturated supercolour, with every detail — neck-ties, wallpaper, even Catherine Deneuve's bleached-blonde hair — selected for maximum visual impact. Interestingly, the young man, Roland Cassard, from Lola (Marc Michel) reappears here, marrying Deneuve. Such reappearances are typical of Demy's work.



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Geographical origins

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