French Cancan

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Dir. Jean Renoir

France-Italy 1955 | Colour | 102 mins | Musical

Cast: Jean Gabin and María Félix

A loving tribute to the Paris painted by his father Pierre Auguste and the other Impressionists, Renoir’s digitally restored classic is one of the great colour films – and an entrancingly exquisite musical. Gabin is memorably marvellous as the impresario Danglard, who plans to launch his latest club – the Moulin Rouge, as it happens – with an reinvigorated version of the cancan. That the dance would feature his new ‘discovery’ –lovely young Montmartre laundress Nini – only ignites the jealousy of his belly-dancer lover Lola… Arguably the finest of Renoir’s explorations of the fraught but fruitful relationship between life and theatre, the film boasts charm, wit, style and energy galore. And as it charts Danglard’s risky adventures in romance and show business, the putting-on-a-show story ending with one of the most exhilarating climactic dance sequences ever filmed, it is also a glorious celebration of human passion, in all its absurdity and thrilling vitality. - Geoff Andrew

Available on: DCP

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