The audience is invited to a reception following the screening.
Considered one of the most beautiful color films ever made, Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg—a masterpiece of music and romance and winner of the 1964 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize—catapulted the 20-year-old Catherine Deneuve to international stardom. The memorable 1960s French romance finds an umbrella shop girl (Deneuve) distraught when her boyfriend is called for military service in Algeria, forcing her to face a life-altering decision alone. The director enlisted Michel Legrand to compose the music dialogue and songs.
“Of all the New Wave directors who once professed their joy in cinema, Demy remained most faithful to the delights of sight and sound and to the romance of movie iconography. With loving attention to those Atlantic-coast towns—Rochefort, Cherbourg, and Nantes, where he grew up—Demy invented a world of benign and enchanting imagination. It is constantly on the verge of fairy story, but never yields to the foreboding of the Grimm brothers. Instead, Demy has his own domain of chivalry and love, born out of Perrault and schoolgirls’ novelettes, the rural sentiment of Rouquier, and the Hollywood scheme of coincidence and happily ever after, but as distinguished and ennobling as, say, The Beautiful Hours of the Duc de Berry." —A Biographical Dictionary of Film, by David Thomson
Anne Chao received her PhD in Modern Chinese History from Rice University in 2009. Her dissertation focused on the social networks of Chen Duxiu, the founder of the Chinese Communist Party. Chao is interested in the use of digitalization in social network analysis. She has published articles ranging from the world peace movement and Chinese intellectuals at the turn of the 20th century, to the literary perspective of Chinese American immigration. She is a co-investigator of the Houston Asian American Archive (HAAA), which is a pioneering effort to collect and preserve the experiences of the early Asian Americans to Houston. In addition to the oral history archive, Chao’s current projects include editing papers from a workshop she organized on the May Fourth movement for publication in the journal Twentieth Century China and turning her dissertation into a book.