Jacques Demy

Jacques Demy

Actor, Director, Screenplay, Writer


Jacques Demy was a French film director, screenwriter, and producer, best known for his musical films. He was born in 1931 in France to a middle-class family. His father was an accountant and his mother was a seamstress. From a young age, Demy had a great interest in movies and often spent his free time at the local movie theater.

Demy studied law at the University of Nantes before enrolling in the French film school IDHEC in Paris. He graduated in 1958 and immediately began working as an assistant director for French New Wave directors such as Agnès Varda and Jacques Rivette. During this period, he also wrote and directed several short films.

In 1962, Demy made his feature-length directorial debut with the film Lola, a musical drama about a woman's search for her father. The film was a critical and commercial success and established Demy’s unique style of combining drama with musical numbers. His next film, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, further cemented his signature style and won numerous awards, including the Palme d’Or at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.

Demy continued to make musical films throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, including The Young Girls of Rochefort, Donkey Skin, A Slightly Pregnant Man, and Lady Oscar. His films often featured strong female characters and explored themes of love, loss, and fate.

Demy’s later films were more experimental and less commercially successful. His final film, Three Seats for the 26th, was released in 1988. Demy died in 1990, but his legacy lives on in his films. His unique style of combining drama and musicals continues to influence filmmakers to this day.


June 5, 1931