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Legrand - Parapluies de Cherbourg



Type of Spiritual Experience



In 1959, with the advent of the French New Wave, Legrand became one of the architects of the revival of French cinema. He began collaborating with Jean-Luc Godard, Agnès Varda, François Reichenbach and, of course, Jacques Demy, his creative alter ego, with whom he invented a new genre of film musical. As well as being awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes festival and the Prix Louis Delluc, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg achieved massive world-wide success – despite the pessimistic predictions of many industry professionals.

A description of the experience


Love theme from les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964), music score by Michel Legrand.  In the main roles, Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo

Jacques and I had to work really hard to get this project off the ground. The producers showed us the door saying: “You’re a couple of nice young guys, but do you really think that people will spend an hour-and-a-half listening to characters singing life’s little platitudes!” They were afraid to finance a film that substituted singing for dialogue and that had a realist slant, much the same as everyday life. After a year of uncertainty, things began moving again, thanks to Pierre Lazareff (who introduced us to Mag Bodard, a young producer) and my friend Francis Lemarque, with whom I recorded the music. In other words, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a work that was made against everybody’s better judgement!”

The source of the experience

Legrand, Michel

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Inherited genes
Listening to music