Lola (1961)

Directed By: Jacques Demy

Screenplay By: Jacques Demy

Cinematography By: Raoul Coutard

Starring: Marc Michel & Anouk Aimée

Runtime 90 minutes

Lola is Jacques Demy’s first feature length film and as I continue through his filmography Lola is an impressive start. I had two big takeaways from this film.

The first is that French films have an inherent advantage over America cinema for no other reason than the French language itself. Their language, along with the societal norms that have probably followed the language’s example, allows the French to speak to one another on a level Americans could never truly replicate. They have an ease and an intimacy towards one another. No matter the relations to one another be it friends, acquaintances, even enemies, they speak to each other in a more familiar tone. I believe this to be in the inherent nature of how French is spoken. Even with lovers, Americans could not get at the poetic nature of communication the French enjoy.

The second spectacular nature of this film is due to the film itself, inherent French-ness aside, in the constant duality this film presents. Throughout this film there rest doubles, whether in appearance or in action, plot or conversation, this film is built upon sameness. Lola is all the more impactful because the protagonist Roland lives outside of these dualities. His story is not part of the circle of love that Lola and the young girl Cecile experience, and for that he is destined to leave Paris and find something anew.

Lola is a very good film consisting French poetic resonance, great dialogue, love intrigue, and the search for one’s self. I’m looking forward to the rest of Demy’s catalogue.

God Bless America

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