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The princess and the post-’68 fairy tale

In the documentary L'Univers enchanté de Jacques Demy/The World of Jacques Demy, Catherine Deneuve paid the filmmaker an actress's greatest compliment when she described him as 'the charming prince who woke Sleeping Beauty'. Deneuve's fairy-tale metaphor also pays homage to Demy's own playful description of his filmmaking style. Cinéma en-chanté: the pun communicates on several levels. Demy's cinema has the rare quality of appealing to adults and to children, to cinephiles and the general public alike. In these early Demy films, enchantment communicated just as subtly the unsettling nature of the screen image that was beginning to take shape for Deneuve. Demy's Donkey Skin is arguably an equal source of the tale's iconic status in France today, and largely because of Deneuve. Against Donkey Skin's sets, Deneuve's costuming establishes the narrative trajectory of this psychedelic dream, an imposed dream that necessarily becomes her own.

in From perversion to purity