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The Movie Itself
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HD Audio Quality
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Must Own

The Essential Jacques Demy

Street Date:
July 22nd, 2014
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
July 28th, 2014
Movie Release Year:
1961
Studio:
Criterion
Length:
573 Minutes
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

'Lola'

'Lola' is Jacques Demy's first feature film, and it definitely set the stage for the filmmaker's career until his death. Due to his very small budget on this movie, he was forced to shoot the film without sound, and at one point wanted the legendary Quincy Jones to score the film, but that did not happen. Instead, Demy used newcomer Michel Legrand to provide the music for the film, which turned into a wonderful friendship, as Demy and Legrand worked together on the rest of his movies.

Demy wanted to tell a story of several characters who are lost in love, who believe that fate will guide them to the one they love. However, just like in real life, things don't always work out for the best. And in a 'Pulp Fiction' type of way, Demy follows the lives of a few people who are all connected somehow to the beautiful girl they know as Lola (Anouk Aimee), who is now a cabaret dancer and a mother of a young boy. Lola spends her days and evenings taking in men to her bed in exchange for money, whiskey, and cigarettes, but still pines for the guy that got away, Michel (Jacques Harden), whom she still loves very deeply.

Recently, she has been seeing an American named Frankie (Alan Scott), who is a sailor and only in Nantes for a few days at a time. But Frankie reminds Lola a lot of Michel and she doesn't mind that he is using her for sex. Meanwhile, a man named Roland (Marc Michel), recognizes Lola now, as the two knew each other when they were younger. Roland is in love with Lola, but as bad timing would have it, Roland isn't doing well financially, and is offered a job in a diamond smuggling ring in South Africa. Roland meets a young girl named Cecile, who reminds him a lot of Lola too, and he pines away for his long lost love, while with Cecile.

But when Michel returns home after years of being away from Lola, now wealthy and powerful, Lola decides to go away with Michel, leaving Frankie and Roland an emotional mess. While we have Lola as the key to center of the story, each character goes through the same cycle of loss and rejection that ends up back to Lola. And Demy wanted to show that he himself, like the characters in the film wanted more out of life than what was currently on their plate, and Demy captured this perfectly. In comparison to Demy's other films, it is not as happy or optimistic about love, but it's a more realistic tale about finding your true love and staying loyal.

 

'Bay of Angels'

'Bay of Angels' I believe is Jacques Demy's darkest film and plays out more like a noir movie than anything else with how it is lit and filmed. This is also Demy's second film and is a great movie to follow 'Lola' with. 'Bay of Angels' is still about love, like 'Lola' was, but is also about knowing when to quit and addiction, which in this case is casino gambling. The story centers on a young, bright young man named Jean (Claude Mann), who is a bank clerk who is satisfied with his life, but seems to want more.

However, he doesn't take to many risks in fear of losing his job and money. His friend Caron (Paul Guers), a degenerate gambler, persuades Jean to accompany him to a big casino for once in his life, which Jean reluctantly agrees to. Well luckily Jean went because he wins quite a bit of money. Caron tries to convince Jean to keep gambling, but Jean thinks it's time to quit in fear of losing his lucky winnings. Celebrating their winnings, Caron suggest the two head to Nice, to gamble again, and a few weeks later, Jean is in Nice at the biggest casino there, ready to gamble.

Here, he meets the beautiful Jackie (Jeanne Moreau) at a roulette table. Jackie is an older sexy blonde woman who believes gambling comes first over everything, but has had a terrible losing streak recently. Jackie and Jean hit it off quickly and end up winning big at the Roulette table and leave the casino together. But the two begin to think that their love for each other is not true, as Jackie always tells Jean that gambling will come first. And it isn't about the money so much as it is about the thrill of the game and risk. Jackie convinces Jean that they head to Monte Carlo, the gambling capital of the world. But the more you gamble, the better chances you have at losing everything you had. It's inevitable.

So, you can pretty much tell where Jean and Jackie will end up, and it isn't pretty. But he is so in love with a woman that doesn't feel the same way about him, so he tries to do everything in his power to get that affection. So his judgment is cloudy and he makes mistake after mistake, until you've run out of mistakes to make. And Demy captures these characters' chemistry very well, as Mann and Moreau have terrific chemistry on screen together. And Legrand's jazz infused score always livens up the mood. And it was great to see a noir film play out in the luxurious well-lit casinos, rather than in dark back alleys. 'Bay of Angels' is a great film.

 

'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'

'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' is Jacques Demy's third film, and is arguably his best. The film plays out like an opera with every piece of dialogue being sung to Michel Legrand's impressive score. The film is even set up like an opera, in three different Acts. This is Demy's first film in color, and it is bright and vibrant throughout. It's very beautiful to look at. Again, this musical film is about the love of two people that doesn't end up like you'd think it will. It's also quite emotional in select scenes, which a couple of them will be forever imprinted in my brain.

The film centers around a young woman named Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve), who works at her mother's umbrella shop in the town of Cherbourg in the 1950s. A young man by the name of Guy (Nino Castelnuovo), is an auto mechanic who is very much in love with the beautiful Genevieve, and much to his fortune, she in turn loves him. But Genevieve's mother believes that she deserves more than just a mechanic, but the two profess their love for one another and vow to stay together.

Unfortunately, Guy is drafted in the Algerian war and set to leave to fight, but the night before he goes, the two promise each other they will stay together and the two have sex. There is a scene here where Genevieve is waving goodbye to Guy on the train, and it is so heartbreaking, I dare you not to shed a tear. Genevieve writes to Guy often, but Guy rarely responds if it all, and Genevieve finally tells her mother that she is pregnant and that Guy is the father. Suddenly, in walks in Roland, the same character from 'Lola', who falls in love with Genevieve. Roland is now very wealthy, and Genevieve's mother sees this as an opportunity for her daughter to be happy and taken care of.

Since Genevieve hasn't heard from Guy, she reluctantly marries Roland, always thinking she made a bad choice. But Roland is overjoyed and is even excited about taking care of another man's child for her. Some time passes on, and Guy shows up back in town from the way, somewhat injured. He finds out that his sick aunt has passed away from her beautiful caretaker Madeleine (Ellen Farner), who has always been in love with Guy. He also finds out that Genevieve is now married and that the Umbrella shop has closed. Maybe due to his bad luck, Guy ends up marrying Madeleine and they have a kid together. He gets his life in order and becomes the successful owner of a gas station. But one day a fancy car drives up and out walks a wealthy and beautiful Genevieve and the two see they have two kids who end up having the same name.

Demy captures the untimely love of these two people perfectly. It reminded me of Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper's relationship from 'The Wonder Years', as the two always loved each other, but never ended up together. Even though Genevieve and Guy are totally happy with their lives, it feels like a tragedy when you witnessed their love for each other earlier in the film. 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' is truly a great movie. So much so that in a season of AMC's 'Mad Men', Don Draper and Lane Pryce talk about seeing it in the theater.

 

'The Young Girls of Rochefort'

'The Young Girls of Rochefort' is Jacques Demy's fourth film, and word has gotten around Hollywood about this director's unique style and great storytelling. Demy's name got around so much that he landed the legendary Gene Kelly to co-star in his film, about a small town called Rochefort, where a big fair comes to town, and people at the fair and citizens of Rochefort are looking for love. Much like Demy's first film 'Lola', this follows several characters in their pursuit of love and finding the right person.

The central characters are two young women who are twins named Delphine (Catherine Deneuve) and Solange (Francoise Dorleac). Delphine teaches dance while Solange teaches music, and the two are seeking to find their true love and finally move out of Rochefort. When a fair comes to town, two young men who are with the fair named Etienne (George Chakiris) and Bill (Grover Dale), meet the twin sisters and the four hit it off. Meanwhile, the twin's mother Yvonne (Danielle Darrieux) is still pining over the man she left years ago.

Yvonne left her ex Simon Dame (Michel Piccoli) due to his last name being Dame, because she didn't want to be called Madame Dame. Immediately, I didn't like her character because of this, but she realizes the error of her decision. She soon meets a man named Maxence (Jacques Perrin), who is a sailor on leave, but also a painter and poet. Yvonne and Maxence start to fall in love, only to have Simon Dame open a music store in Rochefort not to far from where Yvonne has opened her own cafe. Soon, all of these character's paths cross, and they don't even know it and they all soon make Yvonne's cafe a central hub when the fair is in town.

As the film progresses, we see each character learn who they want to be and fall in love and take a chance on that special someone, even if it isn't the person they should necessarily should be with. Demy captures this perfectly with his screenplay and camera, with excellent musical number by the great Michel Legrand. 'The Young Girls of Rochefort' is a very feel good movie and and never has a negative outlook on the future, which makes this Demy film one of my favorites. Heck, it was even nominated for several Oscars.

 
'Donkey Skin'

'Donkey Skin' might be Jacques Demy's weirdest films, but it is also the most family friendly of his movies. 'Donkey Skin' is an adaptation of Charles Perrault's fairy tale 'Donkeyskin' that has kings, princesses, fairy godmothers, and a donkey that poops fancy jewels. What young kid wouldn't want to see this? But just as much as this story is for kids, the adults will love picking apart the hidden messages in the film, such as the incestuous relationships and inside sexual jokes throughout. It's quite comical and it's no wonder that this very unique film was Demy's most successful at the box office.

The film focuses on a princess (Catherine Deneuve), whose father the King (Jean Marais) is very sad that his wife the Queen has died. The Queen (also Deneuve), makes her husband that he can only marry again if the woman is just as beautiful as she is. After a while of looking around, the King comes to the conclusion that the only woman who is as pretty as his wife was, is in fact his own daughter and thus proclaims that he and his daughter will be married. (Weird fairy tale, I know.) The princess runs to her Fairy God-Mother, and the two come up with a plan for her to escape this marriage by having her father come up with insane gifts for her, which are dresses the same color as the moon, the sun, and the sky, and of course, the skin of the magical donkey that poops priceless jewels.

Oddly enough, the King makes these gifts possible and gives them to his daughter, the Princess, but she escapes to a nearby village, wearing only the Donkey skin, which disguises her as an ugly woman. She gets a dirty job in this village, and one night while she is alone, she tries on some of the beautiful dresses that her father gave her. Unknown to her, the Prince (Jacques Perrin) of the village spies on her through her keyhole to her bedroom and falls in love with her. The Prince soon comes down with a debilitating sickness known as heart-break. The Prince proclaims that the only thing that will cure him is that his true love bake him a cake.

Well, the Princess, now known as Donkeyskin, bakes him a cake and puts her ring in the center of it. The Prince finds the ring and eats the cake and is magically back to normal, but he must find the finger that fits this ring, because that is his true love and he will marry her. After a long line of women whose finger does not fit the ring, he asks for Donkeyskin to try the ring on, which of course, fits. Then I imagine because of the low budget, Demy couldn't have the King ride in on a spaceship powered by Ligers (a mix between a lion and a tiger), he had the King and his new Queen fly in via helicopter to proclaim their love for his daughter and her new love, the Prince, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Demy had a lot of fun with this film as you can tell, and the music is great in it by Michel Legrand. The dialogue is often funny and has a lot of adult humor of the sexual kind. That being said, this film is something for the whole family to watch and 'Donkey Skin' has become one of the strangest yet funniest live-action fairy tales I have ever seen.

 

'Un Chambre en Ville'

'Un Chambre en Ville' or 'A Room in Town' is a somewhat violent love story, and much darker than a lot of Jacques Demy's other films. This one was made in 1982, and the entire dialogue is sung, not spoken. I think this was Demy's nod to Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' as it plays out a bit like that story and definitely ends that way. The sexual undertones here are something Demy is used to showing in his films, but never this way, as things take violent turns.

The story centers on a shipyard worker named Francois Guilbaud (Richard Barry), who has joined the strike against their employer in Nantes in 1955. He rents a room from Madame Langlois (Danielle Darrieux), who was born a baroness and is very wealthy, but loves the simple life she leads and agrees with the strike. Francois's girlfriend Violette Pelletier (Fabienne Guyon), loves Francois and wants to marry him, but he is not ready to because of his financial status. While he is walking home, he comes across a woman named Édith Leroyer (Dominique Sanda), who has taken of a bit of prostitution, because she is very unhappy with her crazy husband, played by Demy regular Michel Piccoli.

Both Edith and Francois have a steamy night together and the two fall in love. Meanwhile, Violette tells Francois she is pregnant with his baby, but he tells her he is in love with another woman. As the two tell their significant others that they want to be together, things end violently in different ways, with each of them coming together in each other's arms for the final tragedy. 'Un Chambre en Ville' is definitely different for Demy, considering the rest of his work.

The main story is similar, in that two people are trying to find love, but his past films usually have a decent enough ending, and not such a violent and tragic ending like this one. But none-the-less, it is beautifully shot and very well acted. And Michel Legrand's score and music is phenomenal. This is one Jacques Demy movie that will have you question your own sex life and think about just how appropriate it is to have violence and sex mixed together. It's one film you won't soon forget.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

'Lola'

'Lola' comes with a rough 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. When I say rough, I mean rough for Criterion standards, and given that the original reels were missing and difficult to find, it's amazing what Criterion did to make this transfer as good as it is right now. According to the Criterion booklet, this new digital transfer was created in 2K resolution from two 35mm internegatives in Los Angeles and was approved by Mathieu Demy. The original negative was burned in a fire, and these internegatives are the only remaining preprint elements to exist. In addition to that, this transfer was administered in 2012 in France.

Since the original print was lost in a fire, the people who worked on the transfer had only shoddy elements of the film to clean up and work with. Needless to say, there was a lot of work that went in to this video presentation. The contrast had to be re-balanced, tons of dirt and warps had to be fixed, torn frames had to be "sewn" back to together, and some things had to be digitally put in certain scenes from other scenes to get the full image. With all of this said and done, the image still looks good, but not great. The film has a much smoother look and has an overall better balance to it. All of the big specks of dirt and debris have been removed and the black and white coloring looks better. However, during some of the darker scenes, the image gets a bit fuzzy and murky. While stability is decent, the whole image looks quite flat throughout. Again, this was a tough job for Criterion to remaster and restore, and overall it looks fine, but this isn't their best looking video.

 

'Bay of Angels'

'Bay of Angels' comes with an impressive 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.66:1 aspect ratio. This restoration job is phenomenal and hits all of the right notes from top to bottom. According to the Criterion booklet, this new digital transfer was created in 4K resolution from the original 35mm camera negative in Paris, which was then restored in 2K resolution. Like 'Lola', this too was worked on in 2012. This video presentation is outstanding. The detail from the transfer and restoration is amazing.

Closeups look great, revealing very fine details of the actor's faces and their costumes. And surprisingly, this image has a lot of depth, especially during the exterior shots. Even the darker lit scenes in the black and white film look natural and very smooth. There is a great filmic look to this image with a very fine and nice layer of grain throughout. The picture is very stable has no problems with warping or transitions. Furthermore, all of the big debris, dirt, and stains have been removed, giving this video presentation top marks.

 

'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'

'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' comes with an excellent 1080p HD transfer  presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This video presentation looks phenomenal. According to the Criterion booklet, this release used the same 2K restoration job from the Blu-ray that came out in France last year and everything was supervised by Mathieu Demy. The colors here simply pop right off screen and look the best that they ever have since the film came out.

These colors have been re-balanced and well-saturated to give the film a natural and bright color. The detail is also quite impressive throughout that gives the image depth and reveals fine detail in the actor's faces and in their costumes. There is avery nice layer of grain to give the film a good filmic look, and keeps the picture looking natural and organic. Stability is great, skin tones are natural, and the black levels are deep and inky. All of the major warps, debris, dirt, and stains have been removed, giving this video presentation very high marks.

 

'The Young Girls of Rochefort'

'The Young Girls of Rochefort' comes with an impressive 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image looks great. According to Criterion, this release was restored in 2K from the original camera negative in 2011 from a remastered print from the year prior. The detail throughout is fantastic. Every interior and exterior shot provides a good amount of death and fine detail that you can make out tiny hairs on costumes and faces.

The colors are bright, robust, and well balanced. They simply pop off screen. The fine layer of grain gives the  picture that natural and filmic look as well. Skin tones look organic and the black levels are deep and inky always. The image stability is great and all large specks of dirt, debris, warps, and stains have been removed, giving this video presentation an amazing look.

 

'Donkey Skin'

'Donkey Skin' comes with a fantastic 1080p HD transfer  presented in 1.66:1 aspect ratio. The image itself looks phenomenal. According to the Criterion booklet, this is a new digital transfer that was created in 4K resolution from the original 35mm camera negative in Paris, where the film was then restored in 2K. Again, this restoration was supervised and approved by Mathieu Demy and was done in 2013. Detail is quite impressive here that gives the picture a lot of depth, even in the interior scenes.

Closeups reveal individual hairs on the actor's faces and fine textures in the costumes throughout. The colors simply pop right off screen. They are well-balanced and well-saturated, giving them a very robust and lively look. Skin tones are natural and the black levels are always deep and inky. The fine layer of grain gives the image that amazing filmic and organic look too. There are no major stability issues here and all of the large chunks of dirt, debris, stains, and warps have all been fixed. This video presentation is top notch.

 

'Un Chambre en Ville'

'Une Chambre en Ville' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.66:1 aspect ratio. This video presentation looks amazing. According to the Criterion booklet, this new digital transfer was created in 4K resolution from the original 35mm camera negative in Paris, which was then restored in 2K resolution. Again, this restoration was supervised and approved by Mathieu Demy and was finished in 2013. Since this film was made in 1982, the equipment was largely better than Demy's previous film 12 years prior.

The detail is always sharp and vivid and gives a great sense of depth in every scene. Closeups reveal very fine detail that show individual hairs on the actor's faces and great textures in their costumes. Colors are bright and vibrant with excellent reds and yellows throughout that simply pop off screen. Skin tones are natural and the black levels are very deep and inky. There is a very fine layer of grain, giving this image a great organic and filmic look. There are no instances of any warping or major debris either. This video presentation has high marks.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

'Lola'

This release comes with a lossless French LPCM 1.0 audio mix and has excellent English subtitles to go with it. Considering the nature of the film and what the restorers had to work with, this audio mix is quite good. Dialogue is always clear and easy to follow along with the subtitles. While there might not be a loud or intense sound at any time, this is a well balanced and elegant audio track.

There are no sudden drops or spikes that make the sound muffled or echoed either. The music sounds great and always adds to the tone of the film, while never letting the dialogue drown in it. And there were no pops, cracks, or hissing to write about, leaving this audio mix with solid marks.

 

'Bay of Angels'

This release comes with a lossless French LPCM 1.0 audio mix and has excellent English subtitles to go with it. Criterion did an excellent job with this audio mix and it sounds quite full and robust, considering this is a Mono track. Dialogue is always clear and easy to follow along with the subtitles.

There is a surprising amount of depth here too, which is mostly due to the great score and sound effects, specifically in the Casino scenes. The score always adds to the tone of the film and never drowns out any of the dialogue or sound effects. Lastly, there are no pops, cracks, or hissing to speak of here, giving this audio presentation a quality score.

 

'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'

This release comes with a great lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix in French with excellent English subtitles. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow. This track has great depth and is well balanced throughout. The musical numbers simply shine here and every voice is well balanced and in harmony with the others.

The music is phenomenal and lights up the rear speakers whenever a song starts to play. The LFE is great and the dynamic range is quite wide. There were no instances of any pops, cracks or hissing to speak of, giving this audio presentation great marks.

 

'The Young Girls of Rochefort'

This release comes with a great lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix in French with excellent English subtitles. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow. During the big outdoor numbers, the rear speakers really kick in and you are fully immersed in the crowd and the performance.

It's a very well balanced sound and puts you in the center of the action. The music is excellent here and never drowns out any of the sound effects or dialogue. There were no pops, cracks, or hissing to speak of either, giving this audio presentation a great rating.

 

'Donkey Skin'

This release comes with a great lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix in French with excellent English subtitles. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow. But it's the music that shines here. The score is simply breathtaking and the orchestra sounds full and alive when it kicks in throughout.

The rear speakers help drive up the sound and put you in the center of the action that is going down on screen. Every sound effect and every crescendo is perfectly balanced on every speaker. The LFE is excellent here and the dynamic range is very wide. There were no instances of any pops, cracks, or hissing throughout, giving this audio presentation excellent marks.

 

'Un Chambre en Ville'

This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 2.0 stereo track and was made from the 4-track Dolby original mix, and it sounds great. It's in the French language with excellent English subtitles. The dialogue, which is entirely sung, sounds impressive, crystal clear, and easy to follow along with the subtitles.

It's well-balanced and full immersive, but I can't help but think that a 5.1 mix could have even strengthened the overall sound and added a few nuances here and there. The score is amazing and never drowns out any of the vocals. The LFE is great and the dynamic range is surprisingly wide. There were no instances of any pops, cracks, or hissing to speak of either, giving this audio presentation top marks.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

'Lola'

'La Luxure' (HD, 15 mins.) - Here is a short film from Jacques Demy from 1962 for 'The Seven Deadly Sins'. It's about two friends who talk about their intense sexual desires. Pretty cool.

'Ars' (HD, 17 mins.) - Here is another short film by Demy about a priest who lives a quiet little life in a village called Ars in 1959. It's worth a look.

'Le Sabotier du Val de Loire' (HD, 24 mins.) - Again, here is a short film from Demy about an old man who makes shoes and is narrated by Georges Rouquier. This short film is from 1956.

'Les Horizons Morts' (HD, 9 mins.) - And yet another short film from Demy with music only about a young man who can only think about his one true love that has left him. Demy plays the young man.

Lola's Song (HD, 4 mins.) - Here is an interview from 2008 with Agnes Varda as she discusses how she came up with and wrote C'est moi, c'est Lola. In addition, there are some archival interviews with Michel Legrand and Anouk Aimee.

Anouk Aimee (HD, 4 mins.) - Here are snippets from interviews from 2012 and 1995 with Aimee and Varda as Aimee talks about playing Lola. This is worth the watch.

Restoration Demonstration (HD, 11 mins.) - Varda, Mathieu Demy, and Tom Burton all comment on the restoration process or the film and we see how it was done. Pretty cool stuff here.

Trailer (HD, 2 mins.) - Here is the 2012 trailer for the restoration of 'Lola'.

 

'Bay of Angels'

Cinepanorama (HD, 14 mins.) - Here is an interview from the 1962 French program 'Cinepanorama', where actress Jeanne Moreau discusses what it was like to play her role in the film, and she even responds to some of her critics.

Marie Colmant (HD, 11 mins.) - In this new 2013 interview with journalist Marie Colmant, she talks about Demy's attraction towards female outcasts. Colmant wrote the book 'Jacques Demy'.

Restoration Demonstration (HD, 6 mins.) - Here is a feature that talks about the restoration process of the film, which we get to see how it was done as several restorers and producers talk about the process.

Trailer (HD, 2 mins.) - Here is 2012 trailer for the restoration of the film.

'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'

Once Upon a Time... The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (HD, 55 mins.) - This is a great 2008 documentary by Marie Genin and Serge July that centers around the production of the Demy film. There are archival interviews with Demy himself included here along with the rest of the crew and the talk about making the film. Great stuff here.

Rodney Hill (HD, 23 mins.) - Here is a new interview with film scholar Rodney Hill as he discusses New Wave and traditional French cinema as he focuses it on Demy's film. He even dives into how Demy's style of directing changed over the years. This interview was conducted in 2014.

Cinepanorama (HD, 12 mins.) - On the French program 'Cinepanorama' in 1964, Demy himself along with his composer Michel Legrand discuss how the film started and how they made the movie and the unique score.

Michel Legrand at the National Film Theatre (HD, 27 mins.) - Here is an audio interview from 1991 with composer Michel Legrand as he discusses his career, style, and friendship with Demy.

Catherine Deneuve at the National Film Theatre (HD, 12 mins.) - Here is an audio interview from 1983 with actress Catherine Deneuve as she discusses her career and work with Demy.

Restoration Demonstration (HD, 7 mins.) - Here is  look at the restoration process for the film as we get to see how it was done with the restorers and producers talking about how the process is done.

Trailer (HD, 2 mins.) - Here is the trailer for the restored film.

 

'The Young Girls of Rochefort'

The Young Girls Turn 25 (HD, 67 mins.) - This is a feature length documentary filmed by Agnes Varda that discusses Demy's film. Varda and Catherine Deneuve travel around the locations. talking what it was like to film there, while the cast and crew offers their insight to the making of the movie. Definitely worth watching.

Behind the Screen (HD, 35 mins.) - Director Andre Delvaux in 1966 made a six part documentary about Demy's film, and here is the Part 2 of that documentary, which covers the set designs, rehearsal footage, and much more.

Jean-Pierre Bethome and Jacqueline Moreau ( HD, 26 mins.) - Film scholar Bethome talks to costume designer Moreau about her and her production designer husband Bernard Evein's relationship with Demy and all of the films they worked on together. If you are in to costume design, this is a must-see.

Cinema (HD, 11 mins.) - Here is an archival interview from a 1966 episode of the French show 'Cinema', where Demy himself and composer Michel Legrand talk about the music of their films.

Trailer (HD, 2 mins.) - Here is the trailer for the restored movie.

 

'Donkey Skin'

'Donkey Skin' and the Thinkers (HD, 17 mins.) - Here is a video discussion between film critic Camille Taboulay, psychoanalysts Lucille Durrmeyer and Jean-Claude Polack, and seventeenth-century literature specialist Liliane Picciola from 2008. The four panelists talk about the sexual themes of the film.

'Donkey Skin' Illustrated (HD, 12 mins.) - Here is an excerpt from a French program that focuses on different takes and illustrations from Charles Perrault's fairy tale.

Pour le Cinema (HD, 12 mins.) - Here is an archival interview from a 1970 French program called 'Pour le Cinema' in which Demy himself, Catherine Deneuve, Jean Marais, and Jacques Perrin talk about their own thoughts on Perrault's unique fairy tale. And we get some on set footage from the making of the movie here too.

Jacques Demy at the American Film Institute (HD, 43 mins.) - Here is a long audio interview from 1971 with Demy himself as he talks about his career, directing style, and friendships with his cast and crew.

 

'Un Chambre en Ville'

Jacques Demy, A to Z (HD, 62 mins.) - This is a cool visual essay by film critic James Quandt that discusses Demy's film, directing style, career, and relationships with his actors and crew members.

Q&A with Demy (HD, 16 mins.) - This is a Q&A with Demy himself from 1987 at the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Finland. Peter von Bagh moderates the Q&A as people ask the director questions about his life and career.

The World of Jacques Demy (HD, 89 mins.) - Here is a documentary by Agnes Varda about the life and career of the director who happens to be her late husband. There are tons of archival interviews with Jacques himself along with tons of his actors and crew members from past movies. The documentary was made in 1995.

Restoration Demonstration (HD, 6 mins.) - Here is  look at the restoration process for the film as we get to see how it was done with the restorers and producers talking about how the process is done.

The Young Girls Turn 25 (SD, 67 mins.) - This is the DVD version. This is a feature length documentary filmed by Agnes Varda that discusses Demy's film. Varda and Catherine Deneuve travel around the locations. talking what it was like to film there, while the cast and crew offers their insight to the making of the movie. Definitely worth watching.

Trailer (HD, 2 mins.) - Trailer for the restored film.

Final Thoughts

'Lola'

'Lola' is Demy's first feature film, and it's a good one at that, but the video presentation isn't all that great. That is party due to the original negative for the film not being around any more. But the film itself is good and audio presentation is very nice. And there are tons of great extras on this release. 'Lola' is recommended!

 

'Bay of Angels'

'Bay of Angels' is a very dark film, but it's also one of his best. The video and audio presentations are simply magnificent with some excellent extras to boot. I don't think this movie has looked this good since it came out all of the those years ago. This film comes Highly Recommended!

 

'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'

'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' is a fantastic film and Criterion knocked it out of the park with this one. The video and audio presentations are outstanding with some great extras. This is an excellent edition to the collection and is Highly Recommended!

 

'The Young Girls of Rochefort'

'The Young Girls of Rochefort' is a blast to watch and easily has the best sounding music in the film with great jazz tunes from Michel Legrand. The rich colors and great set pieces are amazing. The video and audio presentations here are amazing. The extras are great too here. This film is Highly Recommended!

 

'Donkey Skin'

Criterion knocked it out of the park with 'Donkey Skin', which is similar to 'Beauty and the Beast'. Adults and kids can have fun watching this one, while the adults can find the hidden sexual messages throughout the film. The video and audio presentations here are excellent with some awesome extras to go with it. This comes Highly Recommended!

 

'Une Chambre en Ville'

'Une Chambre en Ville' is a great musical movie and Criterion has knocked this release out of the park with its impressive audio and video presentations as well as the excellent extras it has. This comes Highly Recommended!

Technical Specs

  • Blu-ray/DVD

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/AVC MPEG-4

Audio Formats

  • LPCM Mono 'Lola' and 'Bay of Angels' and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 on 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,' 'The Young Girls of Rochefort,' 'Donkey Skin,' and 'Une chambre en ville'

Subtitles/Captions

  • English

Supplements

  • Two documentaries by filmmaker Agnès Varda: The World of Jacques Demy (1995) and The Young Girls Turn 25 (1993)
  • French television interview from 1962 with actor Jeanne Moreau on the set of Bay of Angels
  • Once Upon a Time . . . “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” a 2008 documentary
  • French television program about the making of Donkey Skin
  • 'Donkey Skin' Illustrated, a video program on the many versions of Charles Perrault’s fairy tale
  • 'Donkey Skin' and the Thinkers, a video program on the themes of the film, featuring critic Camille Tabouley
  • New video conversation with Demy biographer Jean-Pierre Berthomé and costume designer Jacqueline Moreau
  • New interviews with author Marie Colmant and film scholar Rodney Hill
  • Four short films by director Jacques Demy: Les horizons morts (1951), Le sabotier du Val de Loire (1956), Ars (1959), and La luxure (1962)
  • Jacques Demy A to Z, a new visual essay by film critic James Quandt
  • Two archival interviews from French television with Demy and composer Michel Legrand, one on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and the other on The Young Girls of Rochefort
  • Q&A with Demy from the 1987 Midnight Sun Film Festival, as well as an audio Q&A with him from the American Film Institute in 1971
  • Archival audio recordings of interviews with Demy, Legrand, and actor Catherine Deneuve at the National Film Theatre in London
  • Interview with actor Anouk Aimée conducted by Varda in 2012
  • Interview from 2012 with Varda on the origin of Lola’s song
  • Video programs on the restorations of Lola, Bay of Angels, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and Une chambre en ville
  • Trailers
  • A booklet featuring essays by critics Ginette Vincendeau, Terrence Rafferty, Jim Ridley, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Anne Duggan, and Geoff Andrew, and a postscript by Berthomé

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