Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Music: Les Desmoiselles de Rochefort

Happy Easter! Our musical selection is from that Easter egg-colored Francestravaganza, Les Desmoiselles de Rochefort, directed by Jacques Demy. The Young Girls of Rochefort featured the beautiful real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac. Dorléac, the brunette in this film, tragically died in a car accident shortly after filming. Her death cast a pall on the film's premier in 1967, and on subsequent ticket sales.

I have seen this movie a couple of times, and still had to refer to the Wikipedia article to remember the particulars of the plot. In fact, the story line hardly matters. The great Gene Kelly sings and dances, the Deneuve/Dorléac sisters appear in one designer outfit after another, and all the while, a chorus of mime-ishly attired dancers prance around and ride white bicycles in the background. Out-of-wedlock pregnancy, May/September romance, and an inebriated child all recieve nonchalant treatment.

The jazz-inflected score, by Michel Legrand, was nominated for the Academy Award. The clip below is Gene Kelly singing and dancing up a storm for the theme "Andy in Love." Note the outfits of the women passing Andy (Kelly) as he falls instantly in love with Solange (Dorléac).

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