Umbrellas in movies

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Rain is loved by film directors

Rain is considered to be a key element of cinema. At some point in our lives, we have all watched a film with a scene set in the rain, that has deeply affected us. Rain is cathartic; it transcends our emotions and expresses our innermost feelings.

Rain has symbolised the expression of love in Matchpoint by Woody Allen, seduction in In The Mood for Love by Wong Kar-Wi, hatred in American Beauty by Sam Mendes, and the expression of sadness or grief in films like Watchmen by Zach Snyder or in numerous Disney films wherein weather mirrors the emotions of the characters.

But what about umbrellas? They’re an accessory so essential in daily life to face the rain, but where are they in films? What is the influence of umbrellas in movies? What do they symbolise?

Let’s start with the most classic umbrellas scenes

Two must-see references to umbrellas in movies.

The first of these films is one that makes immediate reference to umbrellas in its title: Les Parapluies de Cherbourg by Jacques Demy and his eponymous umbrella shop. The city of Cherbourg delightfully showered with rain throughout the film, is a magnificent setting to highlight umbrellas of all colours. We can notably recall the opening scene, with all the colourful umbrellas seen from above, outlining a poetic and dynamic city in this iconic musical.

On the subject of musical comedies, it’s impossible to not mention that which is possibly the most celebrated scene in the history of cinema: the grand musical number in the rain in the film Singin’ in the Rain by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. Gene Kelly, brimming with loving candour, does not have the same relationship with the umbrella that we often see. The object loses its utility throughout the scene, as it appears that he has no intention to protect himself from the rain. This introduces an important message: the umbrella is a source of fun and undoubtedly allows us to appreciate the rain, whether it covers us or not.

Beyond these fictional visions of umbrellas, umbrellas can be symbolic in other ways.

Umbrellas and anonymity in a crowd

Umbrellas can be highlighted as the centre of attention in films, but they can also be used for the opposite purpose. An umbrella is a cover in all senses of the word: it covers us from the rain but can also cover us from the sight of others. This effect is exacerbated in crowds, where it has become more common to see umbrellas used to create a sense of anonymity.

This can also be seen in movies. There are two examples that come to mind, where we see crowds densely packed with umbrellas, and aesthetic photography often taken from above. We think of the umbrellas from Minority Report by Steven Spielberg, in colour, or the crowds shot in black and white in The Foreign Correspondent by Alfred Hitchcock. In these two cases, the raised umbrellas present a clever loophole. We’ll let you watch the movies to find out how.

On the other hand, not having an umbrella in a rainy city can symbolise a certain isolation, like in the case of Harrison Ford, lonely and without an umbrella in the omnipresent showers of Blade Runner by Ridley Scott.

Umbrellas and poetry

On a lighter note, umbrellas are not always laden with such heavy meanings. They can sometimes be used to simply participate in the poetry of a plot.

When we think of a poetic umbrella, the image that comes to mind, straight from our imagination is My Neighbour Totoro by Studio Ghibli. Pure and contemplative poetry, and a natural and touching lyricism: All under an umbrella.

But if we think of daydreams and imagination, one of the most famous examples of umbrellas in cinema cannot be excluded! Mary Poppins doesn’t need the rain for her to take out her umbrella. When she flies up and away, our emotions follow her, and we are suddenly in the clouds with her…

Umbrellas and combat

After reflecting on the touching and poetic aspects of umbrellas, we will conclude this article on a more anecdotal note. Umbrellas can also be used as a weapon.

Less dreamy, but certainly more efficient, umbrellas in some films are not only used to battle the weather, but foes as well. For this, we must look at some famous examples in acclaimed British films.

We can recall Hagrid in Harry Potter, who hides his wand in his umbrella, giving a surprisingly threatening twist to our favourite accessory.

But most recently, a big production brought classic British elegance back into style: Kingsman by Matthew Vaughn. In this film, umbrellas are the perfect gadgets for the stylishly dressed and highly skilled spies. Though we may not use our umbrellas in the same way, one thing is for sure: an umbrella is a wonderfully useful tool that deserves to be innovated.

Sometimes elegant, sometimes poetic, sometimes practical… Umbrellas in movies, in every form, perfectly corroborate our point of view as the perfect compromise between practicality and aesthetics.


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Beau Nuage innovative foldable umbrella with patented absorbent cover




  • The Beau Nuage absorbent cover absorbs the raindrops and hold them with a patented three-layers technology. The inner "absorption" layer is composed of a microfiber fabric able to retain up to 200 times its weight in water.  There is an intermediate layer under the inner one. This layer is made of a water repellent fabric and has a dual function : not only does it enable the outer layer to stay dry by preventing the rain drops from coming through, it also attracts the water towards the microfiber layer in order to ventilate it and dry it effectively. Lastly, the outer layer is a thick umbrella fabric (200threads/in2) with a Teflon® covering which makes it waterproof. It thus prevents raindrops from leaking. In short, you can put your Beau Nuage umbrella into a bag or a pocket and keep it dry!

  • Yes, the Beau Nuage umbrella is eco-friendly! As of September 2020, we have decided to go the extra mile for the environment by designing all the canvases of our umbrellas and covers from recycled plastic bottles. The rPET® material we use is certified by the international organization Control Union. This assures you that your next Beau Nuage umbrella and its cover will have given a second life to a plastic bottle that would otherwise have polluted a beach or an ocean somewhere in the world. In addition to this step, from the start, we have taken measures to protect the environment. For example, the protection of and access to safe drinking water is crucial for a healthy planet. This is why we are very happy to be partners of the Solidarités International association, which has been fighting for more than 35 years for access to drinking water for all. Since June 2019, we donate to this association for each cloudy product ordered on our site. Each product ordered represents an average of 12 hours of access to drinking water for a household! In addition, we eliminate waste by donating all of our unusable Beau Nuage to the Nice Foundation. There, they are sorted by people in professional reintegration and volunteers. The overly damaged umbrellas are then recycled, to minimize the damage to our planet.

  • Yes it is! A Beau Nuage umbrella is inseperable from its cover and the other way around. Even Le Gentleman has its own absorbent cover that enables you to carry it over the shoulder! If you ever spot a Beau Nuage without its cover, contact us quickly…

  • The Beau Nuage umbrellas are built with innovating materials, both flexible and robust. These materials make our umbrellas more resistant and enjoyable than any others. The shaft is made of aluminium and steel so that it is not too heavy (only steel) nor too fragile (only aluminium). Likewise, the ribs of our umbrellas are made of flexible materials, like fiberglass, but very strong, stainless ones for the junction between the ribs, where we favoured nickel for its strength and aesthetic. Our canopies have 200 threads/in2 and are thicker than average (180 threads/in2) and the ribs and canopies are both handmade. Last but not least, our unique Beau Nuage cover, unique, allows you to know where your umbrella is at all times since you can always keep it in your bag ! In that way, the Beau Nuage umbrellas last much longer than others!

  • As of September 2020, all the canvases of our umbrellas are made out of recycled plastic bottles.  The rPET® material we use is certified by the international organisation Control Union. This assures you that your next Beau Nuage umbrella and its cover will have given a second life to a plastic bottle which would otherwise have polluted a beach or an ocean somewhere in the world. 

  • It depends! Le Mini and L’Original have a manual opening whereas L’Automatique and Le Gentleman have an automatic opening. Better still, the aptly named L'Automatique also has an automatic closing. The automation is a wonderful feature that allows you to open and close your umbrella iwith the most ease. But to be of good quality, like the Beau Nuage Automatique, this technology requires a stiff spring. It is thus primarily suitable for the robust and larger umbrellas, like Le Gentleman. That’s why we’ve favoured excellent quality manual openings for Le Mini and L’Original so that these two umbrellas are compact and easy to carry.

  • As we said previously, the Beau Nuage cover is able to retain up to 200 times its weight in water. Nevertheless, we advise you to thoroughly dry the umbrella before placing it back in its absorbent cover. It is recommended that you turn the cover inside out and leave the umbrella open to facilitate drying.

  • After heavy rain, we advise you to let your Beau Nuage cover and umbrella dry at home, like any other accessory subjected to rain. It will prevent any corrosion of your umbrella. If your absorbent cover is dirty, you can wash it, either by hand or in the washing machine, in delicate mode and at 30°C, without softener. Lastly, if your umbrella is wrinkled, you can iron it to make it look as good as new! To do so, you only need to open it and gently apply the steam for the iron on each parts of the canopy, one by one.

  • The technique for opening your Beau Nuage depends entirely on the model you have purchased! Did you choose l'Original? To open it, all you have to do is slide the mast upwards until it stops, without pressing the button. To close it, press the button then retract the mast by hand by pressing on the top of the umbrella. Have you selected le Mini? To open it, simply slide the mast until it stops. To close it, you just have to do the opposite. For l'Automatique, just press the button to open it. To close it, you must also press the button then retract the mast by hand, pushing on the top of the umbrella. Finally, for our majestic Gentleman, all you have to do is press the button to open it. However, it is closed manually. Store it in its absorbent cover head first so that you can take it out by holding it by the handle. For all models, after use, it is advisable to turn the absorbent cover over and leave the umbrella open to facilitate drying! 

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