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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Jacques Demy’s 88th Birthday


  • Born:                      5 June 1931 Pontchâteau, Loire-Atlantique, (France)
  • Died:                 27 October 1990 (Aged 59) Paris, France
  • Cause of death: Complications of AIDS
  • Resting place: Montparnasse Cemetery Paris, France
  • Occupation:         Film director, screenwriter
  • Years active:         1955–88
  • Movement:          French New Wave
  • Spouse(s):               Agnès Varda (m. 1962)
  • Children:                Rosalie Varda, Mathieu Demy

Google Doodle Today: Jacques Demy’s 88th Birthday


Today’s Doodle celebrates French director Jacques Demy, born in Pont-Château, on this day in 1931. Demy fell in love with the movies early and longed to tell his own vividly colored visual stories. As part of postwar French cinema’s New Wave, Demy and other members of the movement, known as the Nouvelle Vague, reimagined filmmaking as a personal artistic expression rather than a commercial industry, inspiring a generation of independent auteurs in the process.

As a child, Demy created his own puppet shows and animated home movies before convincing his parents to let him study film in Paris. After two years at France’s Technical School of Photography and Cinematography, he assisted animator Paul Grimault and director Georges Roquier in the 1950s before getting the chance to direct his first feature.

Set in his childhood hometown of Nantes, Lola starred Anouk Aimée as a heartbroken cabaret singer awaiting the return of a lost love. The bittersweet film debuted in 1961. A year later, Demy married Agnès Varda, who would later direct her husband’s life story in the singular biopic Jacquot de Nantes, based in part on his own diaries.

Inspired by American musicals, Demy created a world of his own in wistfully romantic films like Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Girls of Rochefort), which featured Hollywood legend Gene Kelly, and Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), which put Catherine Deneuve in the spotlight and won the grand prize at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.

A consummate cinephile and audiovisual craftsman, Demy infused his musicals and fantasies with a documentarian’s eye and a poet’s heart.

Bon anniversaire, Jacques Demy!

Doodle by Sophie Diao
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