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Model Shop (1969)

Anouk Aimee , Gary Lockwood , Jacques Demy  |  PG |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Price: $21.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Anouk Aimee, Gary Lockwood, Alexandra Hay
  • Directors: Jacques Demy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002F3C6N4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,997 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Model Shop" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Maybe Tomorrow. Maybe Never. Maybe. French New Wave writer / director Jacques Demy, best known for his stylish musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, reunites with French star Anouk Aimée (their first pairing, 1961's Lola) to direct his first film in America. Gary Lockwood (2001: A Space Odyssey) plays shiftless but innocuous George Matthews, who can't seem to get himself worked up about anything: the girlfriend he is about to lose, his soon-to-be repossessed car or even his draft notice. Until one day, he sees a beautiful but detached model (Aimée), and he begins to follow her. From Malibu Beach to Beverly Hills mansions to Santa Monica Boulevard's cheap strip joints, Los Angeles is critically examined...

Stills from The Model Shop (Click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Model Shop: Even better than Antonioni's L'avventura? September 28, 2009
Sony marketing calls its new DVD presentation of The Model Shop a "martini movie" -- the implication being that the "movie" ought to be laughed off as a camp curiosity. Don't believe it. Jacques Demy's 1969 The Model Shop is important and influential. Its arrival to DVD is cause for celebration.

With forty years' hindsight, we can see The Model Shop's enormous debt to Antonioni's L'avventura, that great 1960 landmark: Both films take place in desert locales. Both focus on disillusioned architects grasping for meaning and direction. Both architects profess admiration for the emotional fullness of Baroque architecture. Both men betray their girlfriends -- and both in the arms of tawdry exhibitionists. The list goes on and on.

But where L'avventura makes the most of its excellent black and white photography, The Model Shop goes one better by deploying vivid color to convey mood and thought and feeling -- and does so with the same canny impact as in the best color art photography (the esteemed William Eggleston comes to mind). When in the final frames, the film's action renounces color and cuts to the blackest black, the dramatic edit conveys unsettling truths about the lead character's dilemma. In this one bold move, The Model Shop distills and outperforms Antonioni (and seems to have provided the template for the "Paint it Black" ending to Stanley Kubrick's 1987 Full Metal Jacket.) This and its lead character's emotional predicament at film's end also appear to have influenced the memorable ending to Quentin Tarantino`s 1997 Jackie Brown.

Throughout The Model Shop's deceptively simple story are poetic clues to its own self-knowing intentions (all of those oil wells, want ads, and so on are all well-placed and all there for good reason).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jacques Demy's Model Shop September 15, 2009
French director Jacques Demy made his mark with the critically acclaimed "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" (1964), which was nominated for three Oscars in 1966. He apparently had fond memories of California, as evidenced in "Model Shop," a delightful and honest film that not only tells a story, but also gives us a fascinating glance at the Los Angeles from the late sixties.

George Matthews (Gary Lockwood) is an unemployed young man that lives with beautiful Gloria (Alexandra Hay), who apparently cares about him. George is not a happy fellow. As Gloria rightfully tells him, he refuses to commit to anybody or anything. Unbeknown to him, his life will take a dramatic turn when he is informed that his beloved car will be taken away if he doesn't make a one-hundred dollars payment. Having no job, he is forced to hit the streets in search of money, and, while doing so, he meets Lola (Anouk Aimée), an attractive French model, which whom he is quickly infatuated. At the same time, he receives his draft notice, which would mean that he will have to go to Vietnam. All these situations complicate George's already confused existence, and he will have to make some serious choices.

Even though "Model Shop's" story seems light at times, Demy fills it with unforgettable shots of the Los Angeles of those years. George spends a lot of time driving through its streets, and for us, who live in this fascinating city, is a trip to see how it has changed with time. In addition, you just can't take your eyes away from Anouk Aimée, an actress that certainly exuded beauty and sensuality. I think that it is also remarkable that Demy addressed, in such a smart way, the controversial draft, which terrified so many young people at the time. All these elements stay with you for a while. (France/USA, 1969, color, 97 min.)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Comedy continues September 8, 2009
Jacques Demy's hope, when he first made LOLA, the character (and same actress Anouk Aimee) who reappears in MODEL SHOP, was to create his own Comedie Humaine....beginning with characters from LOLA reappearing in BAY OF ANGELS, and then on to UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG where one reappearing actor sings about another character he was in love with in LOLA. It would have continued into YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHFORT but Nino Castelnuovo was not available and so it was rewritten and moved out of line as Part IV. In 1968 Demy closed the circle with MODEL SHOP. Initially Demy wanted a new young actor, Harrison Ford, to play the lead, but Columbia felt a name would be better for the lead and Gary Lockwood had just done 2001. The music, done by SPIRIT, was Demy's second choice, as he had become friendly with a new rock group from UCLA, THE DOORS, but by the time the film was ready THE DOORS were world famous and time limited. However, SPIRIT created a score that compliments Demy's impressionistic view of Venice CA, W. Hollywood and Beverly Hills in the late 60's. Not as visually intense as UMBRELLAS, but as psychologically insiteful as LOLA and BAY OF ANGELS, MODEL SHOP offers the viewer a moment in time, caught in amber. For trivia enthusiasts, the actor playing Alexandra Hays' boyfriend, the actor/model Tom Fielding, left acting and became a film writer/director....PSYCHO II, CLOAK AND DAGGER, FRIGHT NIGHT, CHILD'S PLAY and a handfull of TV films of Stephen King novels.

The film is an interesting look at a very American time and place as seen by a French Americaphile film maker.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The 60's Never Looked So Good!
Quality of the DVD transfer was surprisingly good; beautifully saturated colors, clean transfer, lots of detail. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Andrew P. Valenti
5.0 out of 5 stars Important Demy Rarity
This has a distinctive Jacques Demy visual style and is in SUPER color. The dvd is a good transfer. Curious though how in those days some amazing opening shots of a film could be... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ripper
5.0 out of 5 stars Model Shop
Great movie about the late 60's in Southern California, mostly Venice etc., I enjoyed the soundtrack from Spirit, who also appear in the film, a very special treat in itself. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Laura Nardoni
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent deal on a pristine print.
So happy to finally see this on DVD! This movie may not be for everybody. It was directed by a French director and subsequently has the feel of a European character study rather... Read more
Published 16 months ago by jborsma
5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY REAL MOVIE!
The thing I like most about Jacques Demy's movies is they are soo! organic.
Model Shop is a down to earth and very real film. Read more
Published 18 months ago by REDFIRE66
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard to believe this is a Demy movie: BAD
If you are a Demy fan like me, who loved Cherbourg and Demoiselles, do not spend money to see this awful, sordid little movie. Read more
Published 20 months ago by CXC
1.0 out of 5 stars awful awful awful
I bought this because of Spirit doing the music and appearing in the film. Without a doubt this is one of the worst films I've ever seen. I've never seen such blaise performances. Read more
Published 20 months ago by harperbass
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived quickly and as advertised. Great soundtrack
You are requiring too much of my time here! I'm happy with my purchase. Leave it at that! ! !
Published 22 months ago by John R. Gray III
5.0 out of 5 stars it was good
the ending is corny, but I bought this movie mainly for it's footage of the Venice beach shoreline in the 1960's. Read more
Published 24 months ago by econoroller
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly flawed but rewarding look at 1960s anomie
The reviews here are wildly split, with some loving & some loathing this remarkable little film. I largely agree with those praising it, as it does delve beautifully & even... Read more
Published on January 23, 2012 by William Timothy Lukeman
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