Many of the films by the great Jacques Demy center on the element of chance, a theme that’s especially crucial in Bay of Angels (1963), which largely takes place in the casinos along the Côte d’Azur. Shot in shimmering black-and-white, Demy’s second feature stars a bottle-blond Jeanne Moreau as Jackie, a compulsive gambler who begins an affair with a neophyte roulette player named Jean (Claude Mann), a bank employee vacationing in Nice. Adrift for years, Jackie, we learn, was once an “industrialist’s wife” and lost custody of her only child, about whom she says, “I’ve got the feeling I gambled him away.” As their folie à deux deepens with each spin of the wheel, each cut of the deck, Jackie and Jean grow more wretched, losing millions of francs in just a few hours but unable to stop their self-destructive behavior. Yet Demy never loses sight of the poignant and all-too-recognizable human frailty behind these desperate characters, who hunger not for instant riches but for being understood.
An early chapter of Demy’s courtship with the provincial France of his youth, with
the most bewitching generation of French actresses, and with movies.
—Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
Jackie Demaistre: Jeanne Moreau
Jean Fournier: Claude Mann
Caron: Paul Guers
Official Selection – City of Lights,City of Angels (COLCOA) French Film Festival (2013)
GENRE Drama / Romance
RUNNING TIME 72 min.
PRODUCTION France, 1963 & 2013
FORMAT(S) DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
$250 to $300, pending format.
*Fees for screening rights are negotiable and may depend on: format, size of screening room, whether admission will be charged, etc. Check with each distributor and make sure to mention your participation in Tournées in your negotiation.
Restoration by the Cinémathèque Française and Ciné-Tamaris, with the support of
the Franco-American Cultural Fund.