Demy Monde

Jacques Demy's worldview extends well beyond the French New Wave

All or nothing: Jeanne Moreau in 'Bay of Angels'
Raymond Cauchetier/Cine-Tamaris
All or nothing: Jeanne Moreau in 'Bay of Angels'

Accompanied by a pulse-racing Legrand piano theme (the sound of curiosity plunging into abandon), Jean and Jackie drift from luxury to poverty on the Riviera, while Demy reads every sickening turn of the wheel on their tense faces. Yet Jean is grateful to discover the extremes of emotion and is spurred to save his rootless companion. "What counts is to want something," he tells Jackie, "no matter what the cost is." It is a sentiment full of illusion-free optimism, of impractical hope and foolhardy risk, of a passion undeterred by disdain and despair. Which makes it a fitting career statement for Jacques Demy, a filmmaker who saw no value in placing small bets when the heart was at stake.

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