Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Umbrellas over La La Land

By Steve Evans

If you've fallen in love with La La Land -- it's a sure bet for a Best Picture Oscar nomination this year -- you might want to check out one of its inspirations.

Jacque Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) is a hopelessly romantic musical with a score by the incomparable Michel Legrand. The lovers sing virtually all of the dialog to each other. Catherine Deneuve is gorgeous. The film was shot in three-strip Technicolor and restored to a 2K resolution (better than Hi-Def) in 2013. It's absolutely eye-popping. For film obssesives like me, The Criterion Collection is finally releasing this wonderful movie in a stand-alone edition on April 11. Previously it was only available in a box of Demy films with a $100 price tag.

You can see and hear the influence on La La Land in the dreamy cinematography, the pensive and often melancholy tone of its songs. Umbrellas of Cherbourg won the Cannes 1964 Palme d'Or. This is a great motion picture.

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