La naissance du jour

Screening on Film
Directed by Jacques Demy.
With Dominique Sanda, Danièle Delorme, Tonie Marshall.
France, 1980, 16mm, color, 84 min.
In French with English subtitles.

Colette’s La naissance du jour (known as Break of Day in English) is an autobiographical novel about a woman in her fifties who wrestles with her decision to take a younger lover as she attempts to settle into middle age. The film adaptation was made for television during the period when Demy was reliant on commissioned projects, unable to finance his own scripts. The renunciation of love is a theme that resounds throughout Demy’s oeuvre and here finds moving expression. The film was shot at Colette’s house in Saint-Tropez, and the setting provides a perfect canvas for Demy’s typically careful and inspired mise-en-scene, including the patterned wallpaper that was such an important element of his visual style.

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