“It’s pure cinema”: for the director of La La Land, this is the best scene in cinema!


In 2017, on the occasion of the cinema release of “La La Land”, the young filmmaker Damien Chazelle spoke to us about his favorite scene from the cinema: the moving conclusion of “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”.

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SPOILERS – Warning, the article below reveals potential spoilers. If you do not wish to know its contents, please do not read what follows…

At only 39 years old, American filmmaker Damien Chazelle has already directed 5 feature films, and won the Oscar for Best Director with La La Land, which is one of the essential works of the last decade.

In a few years, this lover of jazz and the seventh art will have made us dream with this sensitive musical comedy carried by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, made us vibrate with the hectic and cruel Whiplash, took us on a journey beyond the atmosphere with First Man and in the decadent Californian 1920s with Babylon.

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“The end is extraordinary”

But what are the films and scenes that nourished his imagination and his inspiration as a filmmaker? What are his best spectator memories? What works made him want to do this job?

While he was at our microphone in 2017, for the theatrical release of La La Land, Damien Chazelle agreed to discuss for us the scene that he considered to be the best in cinema, taken from another legendary musical : The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, by Jacques Demy.

“The end is extraordinary,” he told us, alluding to the bittersweet reunion of the two protagonists, whose romance had never materialized.


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“Pure cinema”

“With the snow, the gas station, Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo meeting for the last time, it’s magical. It’s sublime, a sequence like that is pure cinema. We can’t do that in another medium, in a novel, in a play or in a painting. It’s cinema. It’s so emotional but it’s also so honest.”

This heartbreaking conclusion, which very probably inspired that of La La Land, also left its mark on Damien Chazelle’s very first feature film: Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, also telling an impossible love story, and whose two protagonists had exactly the same first names as those in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

Directed by Jacques Demy in 1964, this legendary musical comedy notably carried by Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival the same year.

(Re)discover the trailer for the film…

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