In 1957 the actor Jean Marais gave Demy the opportunity to personally get to know Jean Cocteau, the filmmaker, poet, playwright and painter he admired. Cocteau was so impressed with the young aspiring director’s passion and enthusiasm that he let him adapt this short play of his. This is Demy’s first fictional film, in which he already shows his obsession with the subject of love and his interest in the chromatic effects that were to be so typical later on in his career. –Festival de San Sebastián
Born in 1931 in the seaport city of Nantes, Jacques Demy experienced a happy childhood. The son of an auto mechanic, Demy’s love for cinema inspired him to make home movies in 8mm. He would work as an apprentice to animator Paul Grimault and later as assistant to film-maker Georges Rouquier before starting his own career by directing a series of shorts. Le bel indifférent (1957) was an adaptation of a play by Jean Cocteau, notable for marking the start of his lifelong collaboration with art director Bernard Evein. The film’s use of color and sophistication of technique gained favorable notice from Jean-Luc Godard in the pages of Cahiers du Cinéma; the magazine that served as the organ of the French New Wave. Demy would share with the New Wave a love for American genre films, specifically the musicals of Vincente Minnelli and Stanley Donen. Another important influence was the films of Max Ophüls, to whom he would dedicate his first feature Lola.
Made in 1961, Lola’s playful approach… read more