Numero Group: By The Numbers


The Post About a French Musical
October 20, 2010, 9:48 am
Filed under: Antena | Tags: , , ,

Writing new liner notes a while back for our 2LP spruce-up of Antena’s Camino Del Sol brought me back to “Chanson des Jumelles,” a song covered by Antena for a 1984 compilation of songs from film soundtracks. “Chanson des Jumelles” first appeared in French director Jacques Demy’s 1967 film Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, a sort of loveletter to Hollywood musicals of the decades prior. Sure, why not, I thought: I’ll watch a musical starring Catherine Deneuve to research a song I already know I enjoy.

Sadly, my liner notes ended up giving the movie a two-word review: “musical trifle.” Which I still pretty much think it is.

But esteemed film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum’s blog recently republished his 1998 review of the film’s first Chicago screening in more than 30 years. Not only did he set aside 1450 times more words for describing Les Demoiselles de Rochefort than we did, he also calls it a “masterpiece” and, if that weren’t enough, he sort of nails my exact reaction to the film in his review:

This curious mix produces powerful, deeply felt emotions—an exuberance combined with a sublime sense of absurdity, shot through with an almost constant sense of loss, yearning, and even tragedy. Yet the coexistence of this strangeness and this intensity will inevitably make some American viewers laugh in disbelief and regard the whole spectacle as an esoteric piece of camp.

Yeah, I think I did laugh in disbelief once or twice. Sue me.

How does this affect our opinions about Camino Del Sol or Antena or their cover? Not one bit. We still think they’re all pretty great.

As for the film in question, Netflix that sucker, if you’re so inclined. Honestly, I see far, far worse movies on literally a weekly basis. It’s not half bad.


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