LOLA-CITA

Restoring Max Ophül's masterpiece

Film Forum presents the theatrical premiere of Max Ophül's Lola Montés (1955), which has been artfully restored in 35mm color and digitally remastered. The film was a highlight at this year's Cannes and Telluride festivals and is making its third debut as a "spotlight retrospective" at the New York Film Festival. Ophül's final work is a chromatic journey of flashbacks and mood-swinging camera work centered loosely on the tragic life of Lola Montés (played by Martine Carol), a cabaret singer who bedded, among many others, composer Franz Liszt and the King of Bavaria, thereby destroying her career in entertainment. The film's first release was a bomb at the box office, which prompted its producers to hack away at its original non-linear set-up and opt for a chronological structure. Eventually, however, French new wave producer Pierre Braunberger got the rights to the damaged flick, and thus began a long, meticulous restoration of what is arguably the best work of Ophül's cinematic career.
Oct. 10-30, 2008
 
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