Comparison Of Minnelli And Jacques Demy's Les Demoiselles De Rochebury
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Jacques Demy’s Les Demoiselles de Rochefort is a whirlwind of color, light, joy, design, and music. It’s a visual tour-de-force, a treat for the eyes. It’s also similar, in many respects, to the work of Vincente Minnelli. Minnelli, especially with his musicals, carefully designed every little detail. For him, the mise-en-scene was paramount, so much so that character development would be expressed through the scenery. For example, Gene Kelly literally brings color wherever he goes in American in Paris. In Minnelli’s world, the worst thing a character can do is bring ugliness. Beauty was key. But that’s not to say that Minnelli’s films were light and fluffy. Even his airier films, like The Pirate, had tonal complexity. Demy’s musical world is also highly stylized and designed. Everything looks extremely artificial and character joy matches their outfits. But it’s not completely the same to Minnelli’s world. For one, this musical is very happy. Cares and worries are taken away through musical numbers. Characters have a formal idea of the perfect man or woman. But Demy still manages to achieve tonal complexity, just in a slightly weirder way.
Compare Rochefort to American in Paris. Both films are stunningly beautiful. American in Paris’ plot is very light, allowing the relationship between Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron to be explored. The plot’s also kept light to make room for the extended “ballet” sequence at the end. However, compared to Rochefort, the plot of American in