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Oh, Lola! Oh boy!


slaytonf
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It's great to see TCM showing Jacques Demy's Lola tonight on the Imports series. It's a slight Cinderella tale, with Anouk Aimée in the title role. She dances in a cabaret and raises a son while waiting for her true love to return. There are some side stories about a directionless man (an old friend of Lola, who is in love with her), an ingenuous teen girl, and her predatory mother, more there probably from a sense of obligation that there be something in the movie besides Lola. But really, that's all that's necessary, considering we have the exceptional and exquisite Miss Aimée playing her. There is also some nice direction by Mr. Demy, whose Umbrellas of Cherbourg has been aired (and ought to be re-aired), and some sweet and lilting music by Michel Legrand, a frequent collaborator of his.

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I'm happy to see TCM is showing R. W. Fasbinder's Lola. Of the directors that the German New Wave cinema produced, Fasbinder has one of the most distinctive styles, primarily in his use of color. While not as refined as, say, Stanly Donen, he certainly demonstrated his awareness of its existence, unlike other directors, in whose films its presence seems merely to be a consequence of taking a picture with color film. The super-saturated, even garish quality of the color in his films reflects the similar quality of his themes, characters, and acerbic and acrid dissection of the hypocritical and corrupt aspects of German society and mores. It is all the more surprising in this light that he chooses one of the most common of mainstream movie themes, the yearning of the prostitute-with-a-heart-of-gold for respectability.

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