Thursday, May 21, 2009

Demy: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort

More from L'exercice a été profitable, Monsieur:
23 July 1988 - DEMY (tv). The end of Les demoiselles de Rochefort. Stupid, devastated, definitive emotion. An emtion all the stronger that everything that I've always thought - and written - about Demy is still true. A hard film-maker, not at all sentimental, morbid and joyful.

Only one 'idea'. Melancholy is not nostalgia. Demy's world (mine too I suppose) is instant melancholy. There is no lost world, no ideal gone by, no previous state that we regret. For the simple reason (perversion oblige) that we want to know nothing of this world 'from which we come' (alliance rather than kinship, etc.).

Melancholy is as instantaneous as a shadow. Things become melancholy immediately, thanks to music and the music of the dialogue. It's the good mood with which the characters fail at everything (apart perhaps from the essential) which is terrible and moving at the same time. One does not fail at things because he didn't see them but because he found too quickly a way to empty them from their content, to circle around them, to dance. Darrieux learns who the sadist is and says: "And he was the one putting on airs while cutting the cake!"

The essential was love but it has kept losing its colours. In this film, already, the beauty of the 'last minute' because every happy ending is pure voluntarism. But later (Peau d'âne, etc.), it creaks more and more. And voluntarism is precisely the topic of Une chambre en ville.

Deny's absolute strength is to relate everything back to a prefect point of view: that of the mother. The mother who has never grown up, who is frivolous, who has forgotten to stop being a little girl. The world gets ordered from this blind task.

Dances: Gene Kelly.
pp. 102-103, 33, POL, 1993, my translation

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