Lola (1961 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Directed byJacques Demy
Written byJacques Demy
Produced byGeorges de Beauregard
Carlo Ponti
StarringAnouk Aimée
Marc Michel
CinematographyRaoul Coutard
Edited byAnne-Marie Cotret
Monique Teisseire
Music byMichel Legrand
Agnès Varda (song "Lola")
Distributed byFilms Around the World Inc. original release (USA)
WinStar Cinema (USA) (re-release)
Release date
March 3, 1961
Running time
90 minutes
BudgetUS $70,000 (approx)[1]

Lola is a 1961 drama film, the debut film directed by Jacques Demy as a tribute to director Max Ophüls, described by Demy as a "musical without music".[2][3] Anouk Aimée starred in the title role. The film was restored and re-released by Demy's widow, French filmmaker Agnès Varda.

The names of the film and title character were inspired by Josef von Sternberg's 1930 film Der blaue Engel, in which Marlene Dietrich played a burlesque performer named Lola Lola.


Lola takes place in the Atlantic coastal city of Nantes, France. A young man, Roland Cassard (Marc Michel, who later reprises the role of Roland in Demy's 1964 film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), is wasting his life away until he has a chance encounter with Lola (Aimée), a woman he knew as a teenager before World War II, who is now a cabaret dancer. Although Roland is quite smitten with her, Lola is preoccupied with her former lover Michel, who abandoned her after impregnating her seven years earlier. Also vying for Lola's heart is American sailor Frankie (Alan Scott), whose affection Lola does not return.

Struggling for work, Roland gets involved in a diamond-smuggling plot with a local barber. Cécile (Annie Dupéroux), a 13-year-old girl, crosses paths with Roland; in many ways she reminds him of Lola, whose real name is also Cécile. In the end, Michel returns to Nantes, apparently very successful and hoping to marry Lola, just as she is leaving for another job in Marseille. She goes away with Michel as she always said she would.

Critical reception[edit]

Lola received moderate reviews from critics. The Chicago Reader's Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote it was "among the most neglected major works of the French New Wave" and "in some ways (Demy's) best feature."[4]

Travis Hooper of Film Freak Central gave it 3.5/4 stars, stating that he believed that it "doesn't have the intellectual rigour of those other films". He went on to write that it "is stronger for feeling, showing that we need more than the confirmation of the worst if we intend to make it through our lives intact."[5]

Not Just Movies gave Lola an A rating, mostly for Demy's "New Wave-cum-classical style", which "creates a self-contained world that gives a softly lit haze to reality as characters constantly aim for each other and miss, sometimes passing within mere inches of each other before carrying on or being redirected."[6]

Wong Kar-Wai cited Lola as a primary influence on his film Chungking Express, in inspiring that film's second half.[7]

Awards and nominations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas, Kevin (21 July 1968). "Demy, Anouk Meet Again--In L.A., of All Places". Los Angeles Times. p. c14.
  2. ^ Guthmann, Edward (2002-04-12). "Film Clips:Lola". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2006-09-28.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "Lola". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  5. ^ Hooper, Travis. "Lola (1961)". Film Freak Central. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Lola (Jacques Demy, 1961)". Not Just Movies. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  7. ^ Interview with Wong Kar-Wai, Toronto International Film Festival, 1995.

7 ^ White, Armond (9 October 2019) “Why Jacques Demy Matters” New York Film Critics Circle website

External links[edit]