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Repertory Picks

Fairy-Tale Demy in Toronto

Donkey Skin

Next Wednesday evening, the Royal Cinema in Toronto’s Little Italy will present Jacques Demy’s 1970 film Donkey Skin, preceded by a burlesque performance inspired by the movie. After a brief stint in Hollywood in the late sixties, during which he made his English-language fifth feature, the drama Model Shop, Jacques Demy returned to France and undertook this musical version of a seventeenth-century fairy tale by “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty” author Charles Perrault. The colorful, Jean Cocteau–inspired fantasy—starring Catherine Deneuve as a princess; Jean Marais as her father, whose incestuous marriage proposal sends his daughter into hiding; and Delphine Seyrig as a fairy godmother—proved to be a singular enchantment, challenging a number of love-story conventions. For more on the rare pleasures of Donkey Skin, watch this tribute by acclaimed director Anna Biller (The Love Witch), who tells of falling under the spell of the film’s extravagant dream logic.

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