Monday, 15 July 2013

lola (w&d fassbinder, w. peter märthesheimer, pea fröhlich)

We were ten minutes late for the start of the movie. Caught up in the exaggerated emotional morass that every creature, from newt to orang utang, occasionally finds itself stuck in. Fassbinder's colours, as a result, were perfect. Lit with deep melodramatic shades, suggesting a land where everything is overblown and heightened. The pacing of the storytelling was similar, a kind of hop-skip-and-a-jump approach, breathy scenes accumulating like cumulonimbus, the narrative a set of dominoes lined up and falling over, one after another.

All of which created a cinematic tone which did not feel entirely comfortable, pitched somewhere between soap opera and social realism. However, this slight awkwardness or discomfort was perfect for our state of mind, which might not have been able to cope with anything too measured. The film billowed along like a schooner, its more laconic social critique occasionally peeping through like the moon on a scuddy, clouded night. It never felt close to being unimpeachably brilliant filmmaking, but the director's spicy palate always had sufficient to keep the viewer along for the ride, wanting to learn Lola's ultimate fate, wanting the hypocritical mask to be ripped off post-war Germany's complacent face.

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