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The Young Girls of Rochefort The Criterion Collection
Special Edition, Criterion Collection
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Jacques Demy followed up The Umbrellas of Cherbourg with another musical about missed connections and second chances, this one a more effervescent confection. Twins Delphine and Solange, a dance instructor and a music teacher (played by real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac), dream of big-city life; when a fair comes through their quiet port town, so does the possibility of escape. With its jazzy Michel Legrand score, pastel paradise of costumes, and divine supporting cast (George Chakiris, Grover Dale, Danielle Darrieux, Michel Piccoli, and Gene Kelly), The Young Girls of Rochefort is a tribute to Hollywood optimism from sixties French cinema’s preeminent dreamer.
TWO-DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
-2K digital restoration
-French television interview from 1966 featuring director Jacques Demy and composer Michel Legrand discussing the music for the film
-Conversation from 2014 between Demy biographer Jean-Pierre Berthomé and costume designer Jacqueline Moreau
-Episode from Behind the Screen, a 1966 series about the making of the film
-Agnès Varda’s 1993 documentary The Young Girls Turn 25
-PLUS: An essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum
Top customer reviews
The various plotlines involve several romantic encounters and near misses when a fair comes to a small French town. As usual, Criterion is generous with their Extras.
The image quality and the sound on this offering are better than I remembered from the original release (I was in College and I caught it at a very spartan “art house” movie theater in a low rent area in downtown. The screen was dim and on the yellow side and the mono sound was on the tinny side. So this Stereo disk was a treat.
Though not perfect, I like this Demy musical better than the more famous, but (to me) slow and tedious “Umbrellas.”
Before Criterion released this edition for Region 1, I could only find import editions - Not having a region free player prevented viewing, except once on TCM.
Michel Legrand's score, although is not as familiar as his "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" score, is outstanding and Catherine Deneuve is as beautiful as ever.
George Chakiris, who six years earlier won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in "West Side Story", and Gene Kelly dance their way through Rochefort, France.
The Blu- Ray digital restoration provides nice saturated high definition colors.
Special Edition Interviews are historical and a joy to watch.
Before buying this Blu-Ray edition, I only had a vinyl copy of Michel Legrand's music to enjoy.
Buy IT while it is available !!!
The film is a romantic musical sung in French, jazz choreography, and takes place in Rochefort, France. It is so great that it inspired the movie La La Land which begins with a similar opening outdoor dance scene as YGOR does.
The film is timeless - I would recommend it for all audiences.
The film has the look of many musicals of the era. The plot takes viewers through one weekend in the costal town of Rochefort where locals anticipate the arrival of a fair in the town square. Twin sisters, golden-haired Delphine(Deneuve, whose part is sung by Anne Germain), and russet-haired Solange( the naturally brunette Dorleac, sung by Claude Parent) give ballet and music lessons, but long for romance and lives outside of town.
The sisters encounter nice but smooth-talking carnies when the fair comes to town, Etienne and Bill (American actors George Chakiris and Grover Dale at the height of their popularity).
The girls' mother Yvonne(the great Danielle Darrieux, who will mark her centenary birthday on May 1), the local cafe owner who raised her daughters and son, Bouboo(Patrick Jeantet) as a single mother, expresses regret over a fiance she spurned ten years earlier, and we see how the story unfolds as many of the characters, including the soon-to-be demobbed sailor Maxence(Jacques Perrin), Yvonne's former intended, Simon Dame(Michel Piccoli), the American, Andy Miller( well-known American Francophile, Gene Kelly), and the sisters' acquaintances Esther(Leslie North), Guillame Lancien(Jacques Riberolles), Judith(Pamela Hart), Joestte(Genevieve Thenier), Dutrouz(Henri Cremieux),and Pepe(Rene Bazart) cross paths, and whether or not our heroines will indeed take center stage at the event.
As a student of French in High School, I enjoy the challenge of seeing how much I remember of the language, and of course, the subtitles are very helpful.
50 years after its release, this stylish and lighthearted frolic remains as endearing as ever!
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