The Umbrellas of Cherbourg - Wikipedia
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a musical romantic drama film directed by Jacques Demy This is Geneviève's first time in Cherbourg since her marriage, she tells him; her mother died recently. . February and began previews in the West End at the Gielgud Theatre from 5 March, officially opening on 22 March . The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is one of the most moving and . Guy also gets his own bittersweet ending, as Geneviève disappears for the film's final As with Geneviève and Roland, this is not a relationship of great passion. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg () opens on a wonderfully contrarian note. a realistic depiction of love -- one that doesn't always lead to a happy ending. Demy quickly establishes their relationship as an innocent one.
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By setting everything to song, it never seems as if the music is interrupting the diegesis, cutting off the naturalistic flow of life with a musical number. Rather, life itself, with all its joys and tragedies, its banal incidents, its great loves and great sadnesses, has been transformed into one big musical number, a minute musical number that encompasses both the innocent sweetness of young love and the much more complex, melancholy, mysterious loves and losses that build up over the course of the years.
At one point during their goodbyes, he says that he knows she'll wait for him, but Demy films it in a way that suggests exactly the opposite. Because she's not in the frame, one is left to wonder if he's being presumptuous, demanding that she wait rather than letting her say it herself.
Demy's cinematic separation of the lovers at this decisive moment has seemingly fated them to separation in life as well. The camera's graceful movements all but inform us: At the heart of this dazzling musical is the revelation that life is not often as neat as the movies, that the romantic ideals of musicals are seldom fulfilled as cleanly as Hollywood happy endings would imply.
Why aren't I dead? She'd imagined that life would be like a melodrama, that she couldn't live without her lover, but she finds that in reality, unlike the movies, memories can fade, life can go on, and there are endings that aren't quite happy, but aren't quite unhappy either, that the sadness and the pleasure of life can be tangled and intertwined so completely that it's difficult to separate one from the other.
Roland comes to the film several years after the events of Demy's first feature Lola, in which he got his heart broken by the title character of that film and set off on the adventures that apparently made him a rich man. It's a melancholy callback, a metatextual sequence that suggests that film is memory, that to remember Lola is to remember the events and the locations of that other film, briefly weaving them into this new film.
Instead, they are all infused with an overwhelming sense of desire, which often translates into sexual longing, seeming impossible to fulfil and in that impossibility perhaps revealing something more that remains unseen.
For the title character, the absence suffered is that of her first love, Michel, the father of her child, who walked away seven years earlier with nothing but a vague notion of return. Through her interactions with the other men in her life she reveals what she is longing for, that is, the end of that absence, and the presence of Michel.
Only the Cinema: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
All her hopes rest upon this moment. In the meantime, she lives as best as she can. She has a casual sexual relationship with Frankie, an American sailor, who reminds her of Michel, and she happily pursues an attempt at authentic friendship with Roland Cassard, who is smitten with her.
These relationships only succeed in highlighting even more, the absence she is seeking to fill. For Frankie and Roland, absence is revealed by their searching, as they try to fill spaces of their existence.
He simply roams the streets, almost like a carefree child, happy to taste and experience what he can, before it is time to walk on by.
Absence in Jacques Demy’s Lola and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
The absence he suffers is harder to pin down, and he is the one character who seems unfazed by it. Perhaps what he longs for is belonging, as he seems to belong nowhere stable in this film, being the perennial outsider with heavy accent and no direction. Roland, on the other hand, desires meaning in his life. He desires purpose and ambition, and believes the revived romantic love he had for his childhood friend Lola will give him the meaning he is desperately searching for.
Poetically the characters seem to be playing out the same story in a never-ending cycle, and in this way, we get a clearer sense that their desires for happiness are elusive, ungraspable, and ultimately tragic in their eventual trajectory. The poetic images of Frankie and Cecile at the fair evoke an innocence and beauty that is moving.
The Poetry of Heartbreak in 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' - PopMatters
However, the nostalgia of their goodbye again leaves an experience of inevitable loss, like water slipping through the cracks of a cupped hand. Even more illustrative of this loss is the mirroring of Cecile and Lola, such that we already can see the future of Cecile in her attempt to grasp at her desires.
The innocent schoolgirl will one day be the cabaret dancer.
The unmarried mother will continue to yearn for presence. And yet, the film seems to promise that this presence is coming, and finally, at the climactic moment, Michel returns and we discover he has been haunting the film from its very beginning in the shape of the tall man in white, with cowboy hat and Cadillac. Michel appears as an embodied promise of all earthly desires, almost like a vision of something divine.
Yet at the penultimate moment, undercutting the joy of this fulfilled desire having been reunited with husband and child, driving away in the Cadillac with the promise of prosperity, Lola wistfully looks back to see Roland walking away, alone and dissatisfied.
Is this really fulfilment? Is this really a happy ending? Or is there the faint gloom of impending disappointment and unfulfilled promise hovering over and emphasising the bitterness in a bittersweet end?"La La Land" director Damien Chazelle on favorite film of all time
Michel, the man in white, appears like a god but ultimately is not God, only a human person as flawed as any other. If Lola is hoping for all her dreams to be fulfilled by him, then disappointment is inevitable, and the film ends on the perfect note.
Perhaps the ending and hopeless lack of fulfilment highlights a higher unnamed absence universally yearned for. Perhaps this image of Michel, though he is nothing more than human, is supposed to lift our minds to an absence that is ultimately the tragedy of the film, the absence of God.
Where is the divine presence?