LOLA (Jacques Demy, 1960) Rating: NNNN
Jacques Demy's directorial debut is a near-forgotten masterpiece of the French New Wave. Demy was not part of the charmed Parisian circle, and his films don't come at you with the intellectual armature you find in Godard and Truffaut. In Lola, a set of characters criss-cross through the port city of Nantes, filmed in glorious wide-screen black-and-white by Raoul Coutard. They bemoan lost loves, missed chances and current missteps while the director keeps threatening to turn the whole thing into a musical.
Lola is dedicated the the memory of Max Ophüls (Lola Montès), and works as a dizzyingly metaphysical romantic comedy in which every character mirrors another. Demy found in Anouk Aimée the perfect embodiment of his heroine. (Cinematheque Ontario, July 9-10 and July 12-13)