Lola

dir. Jacques Demy

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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A cabaret singer (Anouk Aimée) in a French port city yearns for her lost love, in Jacques Demy's gloriously romantic debut feature.

One of the most important works of the French New Wave returns in a recently struck Scope print. "Among the greatest debuts in 100 years of cinema" (David Thomson), Demy's ravishing film was so masterful that everything he made after it looked back in some way to its world and almost mythic characters. A bittersweet love story that pays homage to everyone from Cocteau and Sternberg, Bresson and Ophüls to Gene Kelly (especially On the Town), Lola concerns a cabaret singer (Anouk Aimée, radiant in lace bustier and top hat) who is ditched by her sailor boyfriend, but manages to sustain her illusion that he will one day return for her and their child; in the exhilarating fairy-tale ending, Lola gets her wish and much, much more. Shot in luscious black and white by Raoul Coutard, Lola is deluxe: dreamy, romantic, shimmering, in love with film, in love with life, in love with love. Godard chose Lola as one of the ten best films of the year, and paid frequent homage to it, in everything from Une femme est une femme to Histoire(s) du cinema. "Among the most neglected major works of the French New Wave ... In his third feature and biggest hit, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Demy settled on life's disappointments; here at least one major character gets exactly what she wants, and the effect is no less poignant" (Jonathan Rosenbaum).