French Cancan

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Published 6 Aug 2011
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A loving tribute to the Paris painted by his father Pierre Auguste and the other Impressionists, Renoir’s d...
A loving tribute to the Paris painted by his father Pierre Auguste and the other Impressionists, Renoir’s digitally restored classic is one of the great colour films – and an entrancingly exquisite musical.

Gabin is memorably marvellous as the impresario Danglard, who plans to launch his latest club – the Moulin Rouge, as it happens – with an reinvigorated version of the cancan. That the dance would feature his new ‘discovery’ –lovely young Montmartre laundress Nini – only ignites the jealousy of his belly-dancer lover Lola… Arguably the finest of Renoir’s explorations of the fraught but fruitful relationship between life and theatre, the film boasts charm, wit, style and energy galore – not to mention Michel Piccoli and Edith Piaf! And as it charts Danglard’s risky adventures in romance and show business – with the putting-on-a-show story culminating in one of the most exhilarating dance sequences ever filmed – it is also a glorious celebration of human passion, in all its absurdity and thrilling vitality
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