Now that Les Demoiselles de Rochefort has finally been released on DVD, home viewers can fully appreciate the extensive restoration work done on Jacques Demy’s delightful 1967 musical the candy colors burst from the letterboxed frame; Michel Legrand’s buoyant, jazzy tunes boom on the Dolby Digital Surround soundtrack. But above all, the real treat of the package is the film itself, a bouncy trifle focusing on two musically-inclined fraternal twin sisters’ (Catherine Deneuve and real-life sister Françoise Dorléac) search for love–and those of various characters (including Gene Kelly) who hover in and around their lives in the small town of Rochefort. While undoubtedly a step down from Demy and Legrand’s 1964 masterwork Les Parapluies de Cherbourg , this film is as exuberantly uplifting as the previous film was exquisitely heartbreaking, which definitely says a lot; and its charms just grow with each subsequent viewing (hence my rating here is higher than it was in my review for the film’s 1998 theatrical reissue).
Demy’s widow (and filmmaker in her own right) Agnès Varda, who supervised the restoration, made a documentary on the film in 1993 called The Young Girls Turn 25 , but sadly that is not found on this disc; neither is the English language version of the film–it was shot simultaneously in both French and English–which would have made a fascinating comparison study. In fact, the disc is virtually supplement-free, but that it features a high quality transfer of this gorgeous film is reason enough to pick it up.
Specifications: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen; French Dolby Surround; removable English subtitles and English subtitles for the hearing impaired.