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Max Ophüls Frankrike, 1955

Duncan Gray's rating of the film Lola Montès

Seen on 35mm, with Marcel Ophuls present. This may be Max Ophuls at his most abstract, which is still endlessly inviting: it begins on startling surreal harshness, moves through melancholy and joy, and ends on a note sadder than if it took the more melodramatic way out. Along the way, it writes (in calligraphy) an eloquent version of female notoriety that everyone from Ingrid Bergman to Miley Cyrus could relate to.