Anouk Aimée (La Dolce Vita, 8 ½) gives her defining performance as Cécile, a cabaret performer and single mother. Taking the stage name Lola, she entrances Roland (Marc Michel), a young drifter. A friend of Lola since childhood, he yearns for her to return his love but she pines for her husband’s return. In the present, she disports with an American sailor named Frankie (Alan Scott), who in turn is the object of a young girl’s affections. The girl’s name, like Lola’s, is Cécile (Annie Dupeyroux). Set in Nantes over the span of a few days, this story of love stories crossing paths, of life teeming with co-incidences and missed chances conveys the spirit of the early French New Wave and the graceful cinema of Max Ophüls.
Famous for the internationally acclaimed colour musicals The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort, Demy’s first film was immediately recognized as a masterpiece by Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut. Lola’s popular success led to BAFTA nominations for Best Picture and for Best Actress in a Foreign Film (Anouk Aimée). —Mr Bongo
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
From a festival of old films restored and rediscovered, works by Raoul Walsh, Ivan Pyr’ev, Jean Grémillon and Jacques Demy.
A busier Tuesday than usual. Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island and Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer are among the first round of seven titles
From December 15 through 22, The Auteurs and Stella Artois will be presenting to viewers over 18 in the UK a daily series of French