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