Three Seats for the 26th

Trois places pour le 26

dir. Jacques Demy

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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Yves Montand plays himself in Jacques Demy's lovely swan song, presented here in a new digital restoration.


We are very pleased to present a new restoration of Demy's rarely seen Three Seats for the 26th, which, though Demy's last film, is a work of many firsts, including the first appearance of the iconic French actor Yves Montand in Demy's cinema, and the first use of the port of Marseilles as one of the director's many seaside settings. Montand, playing himself, arrives by train in the city where he spent his adolescence to star in an autobiographical musical. In his off-time, Montand searches Marseilles for Mylène (Françoise Fabian, Rohmer's Maud), his first love, who has since become a baroness by marriage and has a daughter who dreams of starring in a musical; attuned as ever to the magical wish-fulfillment of the Hollywood musical, Demy naturally contrives it so that the young woman gets her way. Affectionately drawing on his previous films by interjecting ballet interludes, sudden revelations about hidden parentage and mistaken identity, and, natch, lots of cute sailors, Demy fashions a retrospective for both Montand's career and his own. "A wistful song, an iris-in on a train station, and another bittersweet Demy-Legrand musical is under way ... Quirky, appealing and, in effect, Demy's farewell to cinema" (Time Out Film Guide).