Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg《瑟堡的雨伞》

About the Movie:

“I Will Wait for You”… maybe not.

Madame Emery and her daughter Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve 凯瑟琳德纳芙) sell umbrellas at their little boutique in the coastal town of Cherbourg in Normandy, France. Geneviève is in love with Guy (Castelnuovo), a handsome young auto mechanic who lives with and cares for his godmother along with quiet, dedicated, care-giver, Madeleine (Ellen Farner), a young woman who clearly loves Guy…

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg《瑟堡的雨伞》) is one of the most beautiful movies ever made with an enchanting and haunting score by Michel Le Grande, and totally focused, sharp and creative direction by Jacques Demy. Catherine Deneuve gives a fine performance in pinkish white makeup with her blonde hair pulled away from her famous face, at twenty playing a seventeen-year-old shopkeeper's daughter who falls in love with a garage mechanic. He is called away to the war in Algeria after making her pregnant. Will she wait for him as the song proclaims? Will their love endure the long separation?

Umbrella + Rain = Romantic

Everything is superficially romantic: rain falling on the cobblestone streets of the seacoast town, cuddling lovers under colorful umbrellas everywhere. But the events are the starkest realism: when a young girl is forced to choose between love and security, which does she choose? It depends on the circumstances, and sometimes circumstances and the passage of time can change her heart. All the dialogue is sung. It is all melody throughout.

The color, deco and fashion

The sets and clothes bloom with the vivid colors of springtime flowers and pop-art pastels. Delightful too, is the wardrobe that never fails to match the wallpaper of the rooms.

The Emerys upstairs apartment has bright pink and green striped walls, so of course Geneviève wears a pink sweater and her mother a green coat. Geneviève dissolves prettily into a lilac backdrop in her lilac dress, broods in a maternity frock that matches the blossoms papering her bedroom.

The colors in the umbrella store also suggest a shopping fantasia, devoid of the mundane drudgery of this world.

Fashion pieces

Deneuve was not only a movie star, one of the screen’s great, classic beauties, the face of France, but as a fashion icon as well. She was not only the fantasy of Europe’s greatest directors; she also became the muse of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, who was inspired by Deneuve after designing her timelessly chic wardrobe for “Belle de Jour” (《白昼美人》).

Deneuve is luminously beautiful throughout in the movie, looking fabulously chic even in a maternity dress.

Coats over dresses is very elegant and feminine, no matter in wool, mink or raincoat. Both Geneviève and her mom have gorgeous coats. Geneviève' s coats are in pastel color tones such as pink, white and rosy while her mom's are in bright vivid colors like yellow, green and red:

The society wedding in a great cathedral, with a tiara being placed on the bride's head, symbolizes her upward social and economic movement:

Mink-clad, sophisticated, visibly wealthy Geneviève:

Deneuve, the famous face of France, with bouffant hair styles, eyes heavily made up with mascara and black eyeliner:

Deneuve is radiant thoughout the whole move, but the "other" girl, Madeleine is indeed attractive in the movie too. She was a plane-Jane type of girl when Guy was madly fell in love with Geneviève. After all the drama settled down and she became the love of Guy, she morphed into a lovely, elegant, happy wife.


Lisa said...

Hello! I love your blog!!
Do you happen to know who designed the clothing for "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg?"

Forgetmenot said...

WOW! LOVE this post! Surprisingly now I want to see this movie... ;) thanks..

LXJ said...

Thanks! You are gonna love it!!!

Silvie said...

I love your blog
great movies and beautiful clothing
keep it up!

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