Moseying along the red ironwood boardwalk today, I finally decided to look up why the beach cabins lining the walkway are named after American actors and directors. What I discovered is that each cabana is named for an American cinema icon who has attended the resort’s Festival du Cinéma Américain de Deauville.
The festival began in the mid-1970s and was first created to “prolong the summer and illuminate the boardwalk with starlight…”
According to the festival’s website, which could use a bit of English editing…the Deauville American Cinema Festival has been the ephemeral site where young and rising American directors are discovered and acknowledged. A space for films where dreams come to life, nurturing the coalescence of the collective imagination linked to the greatest cinematography in the world: yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s projected on the big screen; a whole industry and its stars and its legends. This is the America of the cinema: this is American Cinema.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the festival and, boy howdy, I would love to go. It is the only film festival in the world that offers the general film-loving public 10-day, 24/24 access to every film screened.
Hmm…I feel a girls’ week brewing!
Book your pass here.
The wide golden seashore in Deauville plays a leading role in Un Homme et une Femme, the 1966 French film by Claude Lelouch that won nearly 50 international awards (including the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film). It also led to decades of romantic road trips and rendezvous to this famous seaside town. While strolling along the storied boardwalk last evening, I came across this plaque, and was reminded that I needed to rewatch this classic romance with the impossibly gorgeous and very French Anouk Aimée.
If you haven’t seen the film, I am sure your subconscious is familiar with the ba-da-ba-da-da-da-da-da-da-ba-da-ba song by Francis Lai and Pierre Barouh which nips in and out of scenes throughout the film.
If you have seen it, as most good Francophiles have, you will remember that much of the film is told wordlessly through either very dramatic action, or through hearing the characters’ thoughts as they talk themselves through life. Watching it again this morning, it was hard not to giggle and I still haven’t shaken the da-ba-da-ba-das from my brain. If you need to swoon and grin and want a groovy soundtrack to carry your day, take a look at this celebrated beach scene from the strands of romantic Deauville. Bonne séance!