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5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg [50th Anniversary Edition] [Blu-ray] [1964] [UK Release], 23 février 2014
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Les Parapluies de Cherbourg [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg [50th Anniversary Edition] [Blu-ray] [1964] [UK Release] Described by director Jacques Demy as ‘a film in song', the visually intoxicating The Umbrellas of Cherbourg pays homage to the Hollywood musical in this masterpiece of French New Wave cinema.

Guy Foucher [Nino Castelnuovo], a 20-year-old French auto mechanic, has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery [Catherine Deneuve], an employee in her widowed mother's chic but financially embattled umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, the pair share a passionate night. Geneviève becomes pregnant and then must choose between waiting for Guy's return or accepting an attractive offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant [Marc Michel].

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon, Marc Michel and Ellen Farner

Director: Jacques Demy

Producer: Mag Bodard

Writer: Jacques Demy

Composer: Michel Legrand

Cinematographer: Jean Rabier

Resolution: 1080p

Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and LPCM 2.0

Language: French

Subtitles: English

Region: Region B/2

Running Time: 93 minutes

Number of discs: 1

Studio: StudioCanal

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – This wonderful film directed by Jacques Demy pays tribute to the classic Hollywood musicals. It has one of the greatest scores ever composed for a French film by the legendary Michel Legrand.

Like an opera, the film is divided into multiple acts, each focusing on a specific time period. In Act I, titled The Departure, the young lovers Geneviève [Catherine Deneuve] and Guy [Nino Castelnuovo] plan to create a family but face the disapproval of Genevieve's mother Madame Emery ([Anne Vernon], who runs a small umbrella shop. Madame Emery does not like Guy because he is an ordinary car mechanic who cannot possibly offer the type of life Genevieve deserves. As the film progresses, it is also revealed that Madame Emery is also facing a serious financial dilemma: She has to make a large payment to keep her shop but does not have the money. A possible solution to Madame Emery's financial troubles emerges when the young, wealthy and single diamond dealer Roland Cassard [Marc Michel] agrees to purchase her jewels. But he later on visits her shop, the dealer also makes it clear that he is interested the beautiful Genevieve. Meanwhile, Guy is drafted for two years by the army. Act I ends at Cherbourg's train station where Genevieve vows to wait for Guy.

In Act II, titled The Absence, Genevieve reveals to her mother that she is pregnant. At the same time, Roland appears again and professes his love for Genevieve. With hardly any news from Guy, Madame Emery convinces the confused and insecure Genevieve that the best thing for her would be to marry Roland. Later on, the overjoyed Roland vows to raise Guy's child as his own.

In Act III, The Return, Guy comes home and discovers that no one is waiting for him. He starts drinking and spending the money he has saved in the local brothels. Eventually, the young and beautiful Madeleine [Ellen Farner], who has been taking care of Guy's sick aunt, offers to help him rebuild his life.

The film is simple but enormously moving. Key sequences from it, such as the one where Genevieve looks at the train that is taking Guy away from her, are still vividly remembered by many who saw The Umbrellas of Cherbourg when it was first screened theatrically. The main music theme is now also legendary.

The entire dialogue in the film is sung. Even the casual exchanges have a terrific rhythm that supports the film's structure. The music also enhances the dramatic atmosphere without unnecessarily prolonging important sequences.

Another aspect of the film's structure that impresses is the brilliant use of light, shadow, and colour. The bright and vivid colours are breathtakingly beautiful, frequently creating the impression that one is actually viewing an unusual collection of restored oil paintings, not a feature film. In many sequences, natural light is also carefully used to better expose the richness of these brilliant colours.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was lensed by cinematographer Jean Rabier, who also collaborated with Agnes Varda, director Jacques Demy's widow. The film's production designer was the late Bernard The film's production designer was the late Bernard Evein.

Blu-ray Video Quality - Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with granted a 1080p transfer, Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of StudioCanal. The foundation for the high-definition transfer is the same new 2K restoration of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg that was introduced on Blu-ray in France in November. The 2K scan was done on Digimage-Classics' SCANITY scanner and the film's colour grading was supervised by Mathieu Demy. Additionally, the sound restoration was carried out using the film's 1963 mono mix, the 1992 Dolby SR optical negative, and the 1992 digital multitrack tapes. The entire digitization and restoration was produced by Cine-Tamaris, with the support of the Cannes Film Festival.

The improvements in image depth and clarity are quite dramatic. Close-ups and the night-time footage, some of which is very problematic on various DVD releases, now it looks very impressive and stunning. Shadow definition, in particular, is substantially improved. The most serious improvements, however, are in the area of the colour reproduction and large sections of the film now have an entirely different vibe because of the drastic improvements in colour saturation. There are absolutely no traces of compromising de-graining corrections. Problematic sharpening adjustments also have not been applied. A good example is the meeting in the jewellery shop. Another good example is the footage from the train station. Also, large damage marks, scratches, debris, cuts, splices, and stains have been carefully removed. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray release, therefore people in the Region A area, then you must have a Multi-Region Blu-ray Player in order to access its content).

Blu-ray Audio Quality - There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray release: French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French LPCM 2.0. For the record, StudioCanal have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature plus the LPCM 2.0 track (the French release has a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track), but you should experiment with both tracks because the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is also very strong. Whichever track you choose, I am convinced that you will be enormously pleased with the depth and clarity of the sound as the improvements are indeed quite dramatic.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Virginie Ledoyen on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg: in this short video interview, actress Virginie Ledoyen (In All Innocence, Farewell, My Queen) discusses The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and explains how the film has influenced her. In French with English subtitles. [4 minutes].

Geoff Andrew on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg: in this video interview, Geoff Andrew, Head of Film Programme at BFI Southbank and a regular contributor to Sight & Sound, discusses Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and explains how it differs from traditional Hollywood musicals. There are no English subtitles. [12 minutes].

The World of Jacques Demy: a fantastic documentary film produced by Cine-Tamaris which focuses on the life and legacy of Jacques Demy. The documentary contains clips from archival interviews with Anouk Aimee [Lola], Marc Michel [Lola and Le Trou], director Agnes Varda, Françoise Fabian [3 places pour le 26], Catherine Deneuve, Dominique Sanda [A Room in Town and The Conformist], and Michel Piccoli [Les demoiselles de Rochefort and Belle de jour], amongst others. In French with English subtitles. [90 minutes]

Once Upon A Time... The Umbrellas of Cherbourg: this wonderful documentary film by Marie Genin and Serge July focuses on the production history of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and its timeless appeal. The documentary contains clips from archival interviews with Jacques Demy, composer Michel Legrand, director Agnes Varda, costume designer Jacqueline Moreau, director Bernard Toublanc-Michel (Singapore, Singapore, Evil Pleasure), and Catherine Deneuve, amongst others. In English and French, with English subtitles where necessary. [50 minutes]

The Restoration of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg: an in-depth look at the new 2K restoration of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Included here are short comments by Agnes Varda, Rosalie Varda-Demy, director Mathieu Demy and Thierry Delannoy (from Digimage), as well as before-and-after comparisons. In French with optional English subtitles. (7 minutes).

Audio Interview with Catherine Deneuve: this audio only interview with the legendary French actress was recorded at BFI National Archive after the publication of her diaries. Mrs. Deneuve discusses her work with director Roman Polanski on Repulsion, her collaboration with the great Luis Bunuel on Belle de jour, her first encounter with Jacques Demy and the enormous impact he had on her personal and professional life, her preparation for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg as well as her work with her late sister Françoise Dorleac on Les demoiselles de Rochefort, etc. [67 minutes].

Stills Gallery: a collection of original stills from the film and production photographs. With music. Courtesy of Cine-Tamaris and Agnes Varda. [2 minutes].

Trailer [1964] the original theatrical trailer for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Unrestored. In French with English subtitles. [3 minutes].

Trailer [2013 Trailer] new trailer for the newly restored The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Presented with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. In French with English subtitles. [2 minutes].

Finally, StudioCanal's Blu-ray release of director Jacques Demy's legendary The Umbrellas of Cherbourg uses as a foundation the excellent recent 2K restoration of the film produced by Cine-Tamaris and supported by the Cannes Film Festival. Their Blu-ray release, however, is not identical to the one Cine-Tamaris Video/Arte Video produced for the French market. Still, the film looks very beautiful in high-definition and the improvements in the audio department are quite dramatic. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I have longed to have this film released on Blu-ray and my prayers have been answered and it is such an honour to have this added to my Blu-ray Collection and anyone who craves for something totally unique and is a massive film fan like me, then it would be criminal not to own this fantastic unique Jacques Demy film and also if you are into beautiful fantasy style films that enters you into a magical different world you yearn to happen in your life, then this Blu-ray is definitely for you. Enjoy.

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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