CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

Rain makes 'Umbrellas of Cherbourg' a Cannes no-brainer

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'Umbrellas of Cherbourg'

Catherine Deneuve in a scene from "Umbrellas of Cherbourg." (May 17, 2013)

It’s tempting here, at the bountiful Cannes Film Festival, to bypass the competition titles, if only for a couple of hours, and avail yourself of something you already know you adore.

All the rain here of late made it seem like destiny. As part of the Cannes Classics slate, Thursday night’s offerings included a restored 2k digital screening of the 1964 Jacques Demy musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” presented at the venue behind the Palais known as the Salle du Soixantieme. 

In attendance was composer Michel Legrand, 81, introduced by festival delegate general Thierry Fremaux and greeted like a musical god. Main competition juror and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz was there, too, just as a fan, and treated like a rock star among the younger audience members.

The lights went down. And when Legrand’s most durable love themes from this eternally audacious picture emerged from the story once again (shopkeeper loves grease monkey; Algerian war intervenes), the crowd heaved a collective sigh of true love. At 10:15 p.m., umbrellas in hand, everybody filed out and went on with their festival, thoughts of very bright colors and Catherine Deneuve and the Esso gas station and the song that (in English) became “Watch What Happens” humming in their memory banks.

And nobody cared about the rain.

 

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