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Lola is Jacques Demy's first feature, and it's the story Mr. Bland Roland Cassard sings about in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. For fans of the latter film, it unlocks a number of small mysteries. The shopping plaza that stands as his only memory is from this film, for example, and we find out how he got into the diamond business. His theme in Umbrellas is also his theme in Lola. Marc Michel plays the part sans mustachio, and he seems destined to help young girls in stores and charm their mothers. The first part of Demy's trilogy is a prequel to the next film, but works best in the way images, lines and characters resonate with it. It is not a musical (though Lola has a song), but rather has the same Hollywood romanticism, filled with melodramatic coincidences, American sailors on leave, and other tropes from the Golden Age of Hollywood. And yet the concerns are very much those of post-War France - listless youth, single mothers, loss and a need to recapture something - and the Americanisms are essentially part of that. I loved decoding my beloved Umbrellas through this film, but it stands on its own, wonderfully shot, and laced with pathos and humor.
Wonderful! What a sleeper classic!
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In 10 official lists
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This movie ranks #92 in Cahiers du Cinéma's 100 Films for an Ideal Cinematheque
This movie ranks #285 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
This movie ranks #366 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #405 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #482 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #485 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
This movie ranks #491 in Cahiers du Cinéma's Annual Top 10 Lists
This movie ranks #531 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #603 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #843 in The Criterion Collection