Lola (1961)

Written by Taylor Baker

88/100

Anouk Aimée’s eponymous character Lola like the film is graceful, gorgeous, and effortless. Aspects equally shared in the choreography of the camera. The depth of field present in nearly every shot from Cinematographer Raoul Coutard adds detail to the life of the city and the interiors. This coupled with Demy’s unique blend of visual and narrative romanticism steeped in harsh circumstance is something you can practically taste. 

Quick cuts, lingering moments, shadow cast walls, expert mirroring, nearly every window used as a source of light. It’s hard not to fall in love with Lola, just as easily as Marc Michel’s Roland does. Demy’s first feature length film follows two separated lovers Lola and Roland as they reconnect after a chance bump along an outdoor hall of businesses that like nearly every other scene in the film looks absolutely stunning. 

Lola sprawls around the city and interiority of the characters without a lag, never getting sidetracked, or interrupted by communicating something pointless to the viewer verbally. Demy even early on understood well that showing instead of telling in filmmaking would serve his stories. Though it’s a debut, you can see all the early workings of a master, playing with the image, the narrative, the characters, and most of all the viewers expectations. As the first stepping stone of a career Lola soars to heights that many directors don’t achieve in their careers. 

Lola Trailer

Lola is currently streaming on Criterion Channel and Kanopy