Bay of Angels

La Baie des Anges

Jacques Demy, France, 1963


In this scene the director wants to show us how a seasoned gambler tries to start a game of roulette with a friend of his who has never set foot in a casino.

Above all he wants to make the spectator feel entranced by this game of chance and money.

The field of play in this scene is made up of three circles. First, the casino, with its rituals and codes, which is already like a world isolated from the everyday world. Secondly, the game table with its board and numbers on which to place your bet.  Finally the roulette wheel itself, circular and spinning.

When the first time player begins to become enthralled by the passion of the playing the game, Demy tightens the frame on the ball, spinning hypnotically in the roulette wheel, and brings in a throbbing, circular music that makes us feel physically dizzy, experiencing the giddiness of the addiction that is taking control of the character.