|Available at Amazon:|
Jacques Demy, Lola (1961, DVD released on December 9, 2003)
Peau d'âne (December 27, 2005)
Michel Legrand Interview (August 26, 2005)
La Deneuve in Cannes (May 13, 2005)
Le Jazz in Saint-Germain (May 8, 2005)
Agnès Varda, Jacquot de Nantes (February 19, 2005)
Cassard meets a single mother and her teenage daughter in a book store -- where the mother is returning a copy of Sade's Justine, angry that the salesman recommended such an immoral book and besides, "comment l'appelez-vous, Justine, elle est vraiment trop bête" (what's-her-name, Justine, is such a fool). If it seems improbable that a bookseller would recommend a Sade novel for a teenage girl, remember that this is France. Cassard offers to give the girl his copy of an English-French dictionary that the bookstore would have to special order. The girl and her mother are carbon copies of the pair that Cassard will fall upon in Cherbourg in Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, also offering to help them after a chance meeting in a shop. Geneviève is also like the character of Lola, left behind with a child by another man, which is actually the story that Cassard recounts to Geneviève -- in song, of course.
The movie is a charming story, stretched for believability only in the final few minutes as Demy hastily ties off the various plot strands. Along the way, in addition to the scenes described above, we encounter the full complement of whimsical Demy characters, especially in the local bar that Cassard frequents, which must have been part of the inspiration for the café in Jeunet's Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, a movie that shares the nostalgic, slightly nutty Frenchness that I love in Demy's movies.