Bay of Angels (1963)

Directed By: Jacques Demy

Screenplay By: Jacques Demy

Cinematography By: Jean Rabier

Starring: Claude Mann & Jeanne Moreau

Runtime 90 minutes

The second of Demy’s features, Bay of Angels, is a sweaty amusement park ride; only the steadiest of hearts will stay dry. Bay of Angels is sexy fun thrilling, including everything that gambling and romance has to offer.

This movie proves that watching people gamble can be just as exhilarating as the act itself. When big money is on the table one cannot simply look away, one must watch until the(in this case) roulette ball has landed in its home either in celebration or demise for both the characters and viewers.

Jean (Claude Mann) is just the right amount of awkward and calm allowing his luck to spark a relationship with the gambling addict Jackie (Jeanne Moreau). Their relationship reflects all the ups and downs, highs and lows of gambling, and it is done so with style and flair.

Bay of Angels is an experiment in catharsis in winning big money, living the high life and falling in love. This is a classic.

God Bless America

Advertisements

Lola (1961)

Directed By: Jacques Demy

Screenplay By: Jacques Demy

Cinematography By: Raoul Coutard

Starring: Marc Michel & Anouk Aimée

Runtime 90 minutes

Lola is Jacques Demy’s first feature length film and as I continue through his filmography Lola is an impressive start. I had two big takeaways from this film.

The first is that French films have an inherent advantage over America cinema for no other reason than the French language itself. Their language, along with the societal norms that have probably followed the language’s example, allows the French to speak to one another on a level Americans could never truly replicate. They have an ease and an intimacy towards one another. No matter the relations to one another be it friends, acquaintances, even enemies, they speak to each other in a more familiar tone. I believe this to be in the inherent nature of how French is spoken. Even with lovers, Americans could not get at the poetic nature of communication the French enjoy.

The second spectacular nature of this film is due to the film itself, inherent French-ness aside, in the constant duality this film presents. Throughout this film there rest doubles, whether in appearance or in action, plot or conversation, this film is built upon sameness. Lola is all the more impactful because the protagonist Roland lives outside of these dualities. His story is not part of the circle of love that Lola and the young girl Cecile experience, and for that he is destined to leave Paris and find something anew.

Lola is a very good film consisting French poetic resonance, great dialogue, love intrigue, and the search for one’s self. I’m looking forward to the rest of Demy’s catalogue.

God Bless America