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France / Italy, 1960 (MIFF 1965)

Director: Jacques Demy

Lola is a fable about the different kinds of love, and one of its chief joys is in watching it work itself out, slowly, iineluctably, and above all, elegantly. Lola herself is a cabaret girl; she takes what passes for love lightly, but dreams that one day her first lover will return to claim her and her son. Revolving around Lola are other characters, some never meet, but each reflects qualities common to the others. These people — a widow, her daughter, a Saftot, a man in a white ear — and the events in their lives are meticulously interwoven with sensitive illusions, half-felt, half-noticed.

Jacques Demy has dedicated Lolar his first feature, to Max Ophuls, and from the start he has used references to films outside his own to give meaning beyond immediate appearance. There are episodes reminiscent of Vigo and Uecfcer, but throughout, the director's highly personal, flexible and daring craftsmanship is in evidence. As with the story's narrative method — bringing three periods of time together into a single spaitial continuity — Demy has broken the rules with inpunity. He has also elicited the performance of her career oul of Anouk Aimee.

There seems little question thai we are witnessing the arrival of a new major talent, who has already proved himself with his three films, Lola, Bay of the Angels and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

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