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A Room in Town
(Une chamber en ville)

Directed by Jacques Demy.
With Dominique Sanda, Richard Berry, Danielle Darrieux.
France/Italy, 1982, DCP, color, 93 min.
French with English subtitles.

Jacques Demy’s only other film in which all the dialogue is sung, A Room in Town is a companion piece to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Like the earlier film, it takes place in a northern port city—Demy’s native Nantes this time—and it centers on a young couple who face a choice between love and money. With the lighting and color palette mirroring the darker mood, A Room in Town is more firmly grounded in reality than its predecessor. The backdrop is a general strike that took place in Nantes in 1955, and the questions of class that ripple throughout Umbrellas here take center stage. The film was coolly received by the public but praised by the French critics, and today it is considered one of the high points of Demy’s post-1960s career.

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Once Upon a Song... Jacques Demy

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