Jacques DemyFrance / Italy90 minutes1961B&WFrench
Jacques Demy's ravishing debut 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 dreamy, romantic, shimmering, in love with film, in love with life, in love with love. "Among the most neglected major works of the French New Wave" (Jonathan Rosenbaum).