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Repertory Picks

Downbeat Demy in Connecticut

Next Tuesday, the Avon in Stamford, Connecticut, will be whisking moviegoers off to the casinos of Nice, as Jacques Demy’s 1963 Bay of Angels screens in the theater’s French Cinémathèque series. After the film, Joe Meyers—the director of programming for the Connecticut festival Focus on French Cinema, which copresents the Avon’s monthly Gallic spotlight—will host a discussion. Shot in seductive black and white and scored by the incomparable Michel Legrand, Demy’s second feature stars Jeanne Moreau and Claude Mann as Jackie and Jean, a pair of roulette players who soon find themselves gambling on each other. The high-risk romance is one of the starkest, most downbeat films made by Demy, best known for the stylized, sweet-yet-sad musicals The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort, his third and fourth features. “Demy’s movies are designed, as Jackie is dressed, to the teeth, and for pretty much the same reason: to put the best possible face on their fatalism,” writes critic Terrence Rafferty in his liner essay for our Essential Jacques Demy set. “Bay of Angels may be his most daring and unlikely feat: a rigorous work of art about people who live on hunches and whims.”

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