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We are thrilled to finally be able to present a new print of Jacques Demy's triumphant comeback film, unseen in Toronto for more than two decades.
We are thrilled to finally be able to present "one of the most beautiful, assured, and cinematically inventive films of its period" (Jonathan Rosenbaum) — and in a new print at that! Unseen in Toronto in more than two decades and long unavailable due to rights issues, Demy's triumphant comeback after a decade working outside France or in television brilliantly refashions the all-sung musical form of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg for darker, more political purposes. Set during the 1955 shipyard strikes in Demy's hometown of Nantes, Une chambre en ville stars Danielle Darrieux as a widowed former baroness who now must rent a room to a metalworker to make ends meet. Her tenant falls in love with her daughter (Dominique Sanda, wandering the streets naked under a mink coat) but the latter is married to a neurotic, impotent but successful TV salesman (Michel Piccoli). The denouement, which piles mishap upon tragedy, might remind you of Visconti's class-oriented operatics. Darrieux is pure genius as the aging widow, while Demy devises another of his beautiful, telling visual designs (a dark, luxuriant palette of claret and blue) and stages potent sequences of street violence. "A return to the filmmaker's brilliant past" (Jacques Siclier, Le Monde), Une chambre en ville became a cause célèbre when seventy-six French critics took out an ad in Le Monde urging everyone to buy a ticket because it was "the film to see today."