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Donkey Skin
Donkey Skin
Actors: Georges Adet, Annick Berger, Romain Bouteille, Louise Chevalier, Sylvain Corthay
Director: Jacques Demy
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts
UR     2005     1hr 30min

Jacques Demy?s ode to the classic fairy tale by 17th Century author Charles Perrault (Cinderella) comes to life with breathtaking brilliance. Digitally restored and re-mastered under the supervision of Agnès Varda (The Gle...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Georges Adet, Annick Berger, Romain Bouteille, Louise Chevalier, Sylvain Corthay
Director: Jacques Demy
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Family Films, Fantasy, Musicals
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/10/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Must-Have Fairy Tale Movie
Jean-Michel Decombe | Point Richmond, CA | 06/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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"."
A True Original
Gabriel Oak | Middletown, CT USA | 06/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Bright and colorful fairy tale musical
Kuru | Seattle | 08/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Memories of an American Boy in France
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 11/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."