Jacques Demy


Jacques Demy (June 5, 1931 – October 27, 1990) was a French director, lyricist, and screenwriter. He was part of the French New Wave movement of the 1950s and 1960s (which also included Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard, Louis Malle, Chris Marker, Jean-Pierre Melville, Alain Resnais, Jacques Rivette, Éric Rhomer, his wife Agnès Varda, and François Truffaut). Demy’s films are celebrated for their visual style.

Demy’s style drew upon diverse sources such as classic Hollywood musicals, the documentary realism of his New Wave colleagues, fairy tales, jazz, Japanese manga, and the opera. His films contain overlapping continuity (i.e., characters cross over from film to film), lush musical scores (typically composed by Michel Legrand) and motifs like teenage love, labor rights, incest, and the intersection between dreams and reality. He is best known for the two musicals he directed in the mid-1960s: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967). Other notable films include The Pied Piper (1972), with Jack Wild, Donald Pleasence and John Hurt.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Les horizons morts (1951) – short
  • Le sabotier du Val de Loire (1956) – documentary short
  • Le bel indifférent (1958) – short
  • Musée Grévin (1958) – short
  • La mère et l’enfant (1959) – short
  • Ars (1960) – short
  • Lola (1961)
  • The Seven Deadly Sins (1961) – directed with Philippe de Broca, Claude Chabrol, Sylvain Dhomme, Max Douy, Jean-Luc Godard, Eugène Ionesco, Edouard Molinaro, & Roger Vadim – aka La Luxure, episode in Les Sept péchés capitaux – anthology
  • Bay of Angels (1963) – aka La Baie des Anges
  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) – aka Les Parapluies de Cherbourg
  • The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) – aka Les Demoiselles de Rochefort
  • Model Shop (1969)
  • Donkey Skin (1970) – aka Peau d’Âne
  • The Pied Piper (1972)
  • The Slightly Pregnant Man (1973) – aka L’événement le plus important depuis que l’homme a marché sur la lune
  • Lady Oscar (1979)
  • Break Day (1980) – aka La Naissance du Jour – TV movie
  • A Room in Town (1982) – aka Une chambre en ville
  • Louisiana (1984) – directed with Philippe de Broca (only one to be credited) & Etienne Périer
  • Parking (1985)
  • Three Seats for the 26th (1988) – Trois places pour le 26
  • Turning Table (1988) – co-directed with Paul Grimault – aka La table tournante