Model Shop (1969, Jacques Demy)

Demy’s followup to Rochefort is disappointing. He’s in California shooting a charisma-free Gary Lockwood (his followup to 2001). It’s a clean looking movie with big meaty closeups, but feels clunky, has no snap, the actors practically reading off scripts.

The Model Shop is a chaste peepshow where photographers hire a camera and a sexy girl for private sessions (Gary once calls it a “tart factory,” which would’ve been a better film title). Broke, doomed Gary stumbles into the place and obsesses over Lola (THE Lola), stalks her relentlessly until she agrees to sleep with him. At the end he’s drafted, loses his cute girlfriend, his cute car, and all the cash he borrowed (in the movie’s weirdest scene) from the band Spirit.

Gary disappointing his gf Alexandra Hay (Skidoo):

Demy stitches together an Interconnected Universe here, sending Lola back to France at the end, reporting that her Sailor Frankie has died in Vietnam. Lola speaks of an ex who left her for a French gambler named Jackie (Bay of Angels) and we’ve already seen her boy Roland marrying Catherine Deneuve in Umbrellas. Unknown whether Gary’s tooling around town in the limited time before he has to report for duty has Cleo from 5 to 7 in mind, or if it’s more a reference to Sailor Gene Kelly on shore leave.

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