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Donkey Skin - DVD (French/Engl

Catherine Deneuve , Jean Marais , Jacques Demy    Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 127.66
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars May 2 2011
By LiLy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-Have Fairy Tale Movie June 25 2005
By Jean-Michel Decombe - Published on Amazon.com
I saw that movie many times when I was growing up in France. It is part of this special set of "comfort" movies that everybody who grew up in France has probably seen many times as well... these special movies would be shown on french TV at and around Christmas. If you are interested in better understanding the french culture, you must see it, independently of its artistic merit (even though it is pretty high, in my opinion). Moreover, Catherine Deneuve is the most beloved/respected person in France (and the coolest thing about her is that she is still human, flawed, aware of it, and eminently approachable). Ebert is right when he says that she is ageless. The baking scene is a classic and the turning point in the movie. By the way, other "comfort" movies include the 5-DVD boxed set of Angélique adventures, recently released by RusCiCo (every french boy was in love with Michèle Mercier), any comedy by Louis de Funès (the epitome of french comedy for the whole family), and so forth. These are fantastic movies to be truly enjoyed, so I failed to understand the criticism of some about the fact that this or that scene would not be "believable".
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bright and colorful fairy tale musical Aug. 17 2005
By Kuru - Published on Amazon.com
This is a 90-minute fairy tale, filmed in brilliant colors (lots of primary reds and blues) using famous Loire chateaux as backgrounds. Unlike Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, the entire screenplay is not sung -- this is a more conventional musical with songs and spoken dialogue. The subtitles are easy to read and accurate. The transfer to DVD is excellent. This is the sort of film one can watch more than once, if only to enjoy the rich visual detail.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hard to shake off Sept. 6 2005
By F. Morse - Published on Amazon.com
It does not matter how old you are. I saw it last month and I'm I'm a mature adult.

It's in French, but that did little to prevent me from seeing it three times, and the songs have since not left my head - every day, when I go into my kitchen, I hear the song Catherine sang when baking the cake for the prince.

Because it's a musical and the scenes are supplimented by music, it tends offer you additional triggers to recall scenes from the movies during the course of any given day.

Must see! A true work of art. I'm shamefully hooked, as it was probably meant for children, but I have a feeling adults will get more out of it than kids.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Original June 8 2005
By Gabriel Oak - Published on Amazon.com
Jacques Demy made musical films like no one else. I've waited for years to see this movie released on DVD and I can't believe it's finally out. Catherine Deneuve and Jacques Perrin make the perfect romantic couple and they play their roles with a sense of humor. Once again Michel Legrand provides a lovely score with witty lyrics by Demy.The film costars Delphine Seyrig (who was featured in several key French films such as Stolen Kisses and Last Year at Marienbad) and Jean Marais who starred in Beauty and Beast. This is the perfect film to watch after Demy's The Young Girls of Rochefort and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories of an American Boy in France Nov. 15 2006
By Kevin Killian - Published on Amazon.com
You have to be able to give yourself to a movie without really understanding it, to appreciate the beautiful qualities of Jacques Demy's PEAU D'ANE. So much of the story doesn't make any sense to American viewers. Why, for example, does the Prince sham illness in order to get "Donkey Skin" to bake him a cake? He knows who she is, why doesn't he just go for it. Why go through the rigmarole of getting every woman in the kingdom to try on the ring? How does he know that only Catherine Deneuve would be able to wear the ring? What if he got someone else instead? (We see a cute reaction shot when a very young princess, maybe 4 or 5 years old, tries on the ring and it's way too big for her.)

Growing up in France, commercial TV played this movie every Christmas, just the way that here in the USA they were showing "It's a Wonderful Life." For us American children trapped in Paris at Christmastime, there was one great treat, a showing of "Peau D'Ane" every year to look forward to (this was in the days before DVDS and even VHS.) You'll see the special cake that Catherine Deneuve makes with her dirty twin, and you'll wonder why she makes such a flat cake for the prince--it's a visual reminder of our special Christmas cake, the "galette," round and flat, into which a shoe, a baby or other toy has been inserted. We would have a "buche de Noel" every year, always a cause for general applause. (The Princess slips a golden ring into the cake, and Prince Charming nearly chokes to death on it!) In many ways Demy puts in references to our charming French Christmas traditions. We would stay up late and have a midnight dinner the French servants called, the "Reveillon," an enormous feast with chickens, geese, sausage and sometimes quail. You'd think everyone would be fat, but even Santa Claus, or as we call him, Pere Noel, although dressed in red like Prince Charming (Jacques Perrin) in tbis film, is always portrayed as thin, nearly emaciated: compare him to the enormously fat jolly man American kids call "Santa Claus."

By the way, we put out shoes by the fireplace, whereas you American children hang up stockings at the mantelpiece! Then when we open our gifts, we settle in for the annual treat of seeing Jacques Demy's masterpiece, "Peau D'Ane." Now an adult, I can see that Delphine Seyrig and Micheline Presle were still quite attractive in 1970, though to a child they seem quite elderly compared to how young Deneuve looks. We had gotten used to seeing Deneuve and Jacques Perrin together in Demy's previous film, LES DEMOISELLES DU ROCHEFORT, but here they share even more charisma and sex appeal. Their number together doing backwards somersaults and then gliding down a placid river on a painted barge, torches burning bright in daylight, is one of the best in the film.
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