Le sabotier du Val de Loire

dir. Jacques Demy

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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Jacques Demy's first short evokes the French neorealist tradition of Demy's mentor Georges Roquier in its finely detailed portrait of a week in the life of a clog-maker in the Loire Valley.

None other than Maurice Pialat called Demy's debut, the chronicle of a week in the life of a sabotier (clog-maker) in the Loire Valley, "the best French film since 1950." Georges Sadoul said that with Lola "Demy gave the New Wave its neorealism," and we can see here the roots of Demy's cinema in the French neorealist approach of his mentor Georges Roquier (Farrebique). This being Demy, it's no surprise that the film is in many ways about death: the aftermath of WWII, the death of a craft and way of life, the death of the shoemaker's friend, and the sabotier's own imminent mortality.