Director: Jacques Demy
Cast includes: Catherine Deneuve, Jacques Demy, Michel Legrand
91 mins /1964 / France, Subtitles

***Due to Storm Ciaran we had to cancel the 2 November screenings, but we have now rescheduled the evening screening including French language class to Thursday 23 November at 7pm.  If you had already booked for the evening 2 November screening you should have received an email with further information. We hope you can make it!***

Voguish director Damien Chazelle’s pick for “the greatest movie ever made” isn’t his masterwork La La Land, or even Citizen Kane. It’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Chazelle claims to have watched this New Wave classic more than 200 times, and regards his own not-quite-Oscar-winning 2016 musical as a crypto-remake of Jacques Demy’s entirely sung-through phenomenon.

It wasn’t love at first sight. Initially, Demy’s film, with its strange operatic style, “threw me for a loop,” says Chazelle. On its debut in 1964, it provoked a similarly perplexed response. Yet it went on to win the Palme d’Or and five Oscar nominations; it pulled in more than a million filmgoers in France alone, and became an enduring obsession for those, like Chazelle, who have fallen under its spell.

Its story is artlessly simple. A teenage shopgirl falls in love with a garage mechanic and they swear eternal fealty. But, after he’s called up to fight in Algeria, his letters soon dry up. His sweetheart finds he’s left her pregnant, so under parental pressure she marries an older, well-heeled suitor. When her earlier swain returns from the war, he goes on a regretful bender, but then he, too, settles for someone else. That’s it.

"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a life-enhancing 60s sensation, is about to enrapture a new generation of filmgoers." David Cox, The Guardian.

For added interest the film is directed by Agnes Varda's husband, Jacques Demy, and features Catherine Deneuve's first ever screen appearance. It's also one of the film influences behind Greta Gerwig's hit Barbie. A bittersweet tragic romance of first love lost - a musical movie masterpiece!

Join Club Cinoche: French language conversation class

At the evening screening of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, join us for the launch of Club Cinoche, a new foreign language conversation class plus film screening hosted by The French Space.

Led by experienced french conversation teacher and founder of The French Space, Alison Stockford, the evening will be a fun and educational way to practice your French speaking skills and socialise with other like-minded Francophiles! Your £15 ticket includes the class and film screening.

7pm: Arrival and drinks

  • Conversation activity 1: Film Poster analysis and plot prediction
  • Film screening (first half)
  • Conversation activity 2: Discussion with partner/feedback to group
  • Film screening (second half)
  • Conversation activity 3: Reviewing the film in groups/ feedback to group

Ends 10.15pm

How you can support the Electric Palace:

Thank you.