And beyond that, Demy created an entirely gay world--and I mean that in all senses (the husband of the great Agnes Varda died of AIDS--that represented a kind of romantic viewpoint that, although incorporating heterosexual tropes, really does speak of the gay experience.
Recently on TMC I watched the film again, and realized just how truly homosexual Demy's worlds always were. Gay guys jump out of the screen, pretending to be involved with the lovely young maidens of Rochefort, while one cannot help but perceive that they are far more interested in their male counterparts. Gene Kelly can contort his heterosexual values as much as he can, but it's the lovely dancers Chakaris and Perrin, as well as the two other blue-eyed sailor boys that make this film the joy that it is. Goodbye lovelt ladies, let the boys sing and dance their way through the world which they truly inhabit. The women even dismiss their male lovers, realizing that they're never going to truly satisfy them. And they ultimately use them simply for escape from the provincial worlds their currently inhabit. The dancing boys are their only route out.