French label Arte Video has revealed that it plans to bring to Blu-ray acclaimed director Jacques Demy's romantic musical Les Parapluies de Cherbourg a.k.a The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), starring Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Marc Michel, and Anne Vernon. The release is set to arrive on the French market on November 20th.
A story of lost love, with all the dialogue sung rather than spoken. In the French seaside town of Cherbourg, Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve, in her first screen role) discovers that she is pregnant by her boyfriend, Guy (Nino Castelnuovo). When Guy is drafted into the army, Genevieve marries diamond merchant Roland Cassard (Marc Michel), even though she still loves Guy. She is destined for one last encounter with her true love, in a frosty Esso gas station.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was recently restored by CinÚ Tamaris. Below is a video highlighting the many improvements that were made during the restoration with comments by renowned director Agnes Varda, Rosalie Varda-Demy, Thierry Delannoy from Digimage, and director Mathieu Demy.
I am pleased to see that preservationists have come again to the rescue of this gem from the Nouvelle Vague era. The DVD edition from an alleged restored version is only reasonable, but both the picture and the soundtrack deserved a much better, digital treatment.
I am looking forward to see this available, and I do hope that Demy's Peau d'┬ne and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort follow the same restoration path.
I had been checking regularly online for news of an "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" Blu-ray in 2014 to mark the film's 50th anniversary, with no luck. I'm excited to hear it's finally coming out -- and even sooner.
Unfortunately, Amazon.fr indicates the "Umbrellas" Blu-ray has English subtitles but is only Region B (i.e., not playable on U.S. machines). However, that's exactly what the description for the "Demoiselles" Blu-ray says too, and that disc IS playable on U.S. machines (the film only; the special features are not). Hope someone can verify the situation before I order the import. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. "Umbrellas," like its follow-up, is one of my favorite movies.