Would you rather celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend at a packed pub with a man from Southie screaming “Danny Boy” in your ear, or would you rather watch two of the most visually stunning films you’ll ever see?
You would be a fool to miss Brattle Theatre’s double feature of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort, part of their Tribute to Michel Legrand.
“Why is absence so heavy to bear?” asks Geneviève, a young girl of 17 who learns that not all dreams are meant to come true — a theme which prevails through The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Geneviève and her lover, Guy, have plans: get married, open their own car shop, have a daughter named Françoise. Nothing can come between them — except the Algerian War.
When Guy is drafted to serve for two years, Geneviève declares that she will wait for him. “I can’t live without him. I’ll die,”she tells her mother. Yet, after discovering she is pregnant with Guy’s child, two years seems like an unbearable amount of time. When Roland Cassard, a wealthy diamond dealer, pursues Geneviève, she must make the ultimate decision between love and stability.
Considered an unorthodox musical, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg juxtaposes the exquisite sadness of everyday life with a beautiful, vibrant background — so beautiful that you almost won’t mind that your heart is breaking.
The Young Girls of Rochefort is the cheerful cousin of Umbrellas. The Garnier twins (born in the sign of the Gemini) are destined for more than the town of Rochefort can offer. “We are delicate souls, two romantics in love with art, music, and antics. Where’s that man, the man we long to find?”
The twins decide to try their luck in Paris, but before they leave, they encounter a host of characters who determine their fate. Add Gene Kelly, an overly poetic soldier named Maxence, a pair of carnies, and a man with a ridiculous last name into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece.
You’ll leave this movie feeling the same exuberance that the first day of spring brings.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Dir. Jacques Demy
Screens Saturday, 3/16, 2 p.m., 6:30 p.m. @ Brattle Theatre
The Young Girls of Rochefort
dir. Jacques Demy
Screens Saturday, 3/16, 4 p.m., 8:30 p.m. @ Brattle Theatre