by Jim Ridley
“D” as in Demy — Jacques Demy, subject of The Belcourt’s wondrous current retrospective, guaranteed to flush any toxins from your system that you incur clawing a flat-screen TV out of somebody’s hands at Best Buy. The retrospective comes to a head over the next four days, starting with Thanksgiving Day's delightful double feature of the 1964 Catherine Deneuve musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg — a candidate for my favorite movie of all time — and its eye-popping 1967 follow-up The Young Girls of Rochefort (below).
Friday's all-Demy-all-day lineup includes second looks at his 1961 debut Lola, his feverish 1963 gambling melodrama Bay of Angels with Jeanne Moreau, and his only American film, 1969's Model Shop (one of the discoveries of the series, judging by the comments I've heard in the lobby).
On Saturday, come at 12:50 p.m. so you can hear Vanderbilt film scholar Jennifer Fay discuss The Young Girls of Rochefort — starring Gene Kelly and the heart-fluttering pairing of real-life sisters Deneuve and Françoise Dorleac — then stay for Demy's exquisite Deneuve-led fairy tale Donkey Skin, his candy-colored satire A Slightly Pregnant Man with Marcello Mastroianni awaiting a blessed event, and his 1982 late-career masterpiece Une Chambre en Ville (A Room in Town). (That last film knocked people out at its first showing last Sunday night — it's far darker than anything else I've seen in the series, closer to opera in its intensity and lurid material than to a movie musical.)
The retro closes Sunday night with the pairing of Umbrellas and Rochefort — two of the most romantic movies ever made, and not to be missed on the big screen.