Jacquot Demy is a little boy at the end of the thirties. His father owns a garage and his mother is a hairdresser. The whole family lives happily and likes to sing and to go to the movies. ... See full summary »
There are two parts to this film: sequences of life in the fishing village of La Pointe Courte (a government inspector's visit, the death of a child) alternate with others following a ... See full summary »
Les demoiselles ont eu 25 ans (1993) is a French film shown in the U.S. with the title The Young Girls 25 Years Later. The movie was written and directed by Agnès Varda.
The Young Girls of Rochefort, directed by Jacques Demy, became an iconic movie after it was released in 1968. Twenty-five years later, the people of Rochefort held an extravagant event to celebrate the film and its positive effect of bringing Rochefort out of its "Sleeping Beauty" slumber.
Director Agnès Varda is Jacques Demy's widow. Although she didn't participate in the movie directly, she was there taking photos and videos.
Many of the film's stars returned to Rochefort, including Catherine Deneuve, and Jacques Perrin. Composer Michel Legrand was there as well.
Varda is too good a director to only focus on stars. (The camera just wants to follow Deneuve, but Varda won't let that happen.) Varda presents interviews with bit players and extras. In the film, Deneuve and her sister Francois Dorleac were supposed to be twins. (They were sisters, but not twins.) Some twins were used in the films, and they are interviewed. Two of the school children, who were both extras, met again years later, and eventually married.
In 1993, tourists still came to Rochefort to see the places where the filming took place. (By coincidence, 2018 was the 50th anniversary of Young Girls. I wonder how many people still remember it.)
Demy was a brilliant director who made films that were different from those made by other French directors of the time. He often said he was trying to imitate the Hollywood musicals of the era. However, how many Hollywood directors would transform the appearance of a city by painting more than one thousand shutters to match the color scheme of a movie?
This is a movie worth seeing, although it would work better in a theater. You'll enjoy it more if you can see The Young Girls of Rochefort before you see the documentary.
This film apparently can't be purchased separately. However, it's easy to find a Young Girls Criterion Collection DVD, which contains this movie as a supplement. That way you'll be able to see the Young Girls first, and then follow with Agnès Varda's documentary. It's definitely worth making the effort!
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