by Ryland Walker Knight
Max Ophuls' final film, the legendary Lola Montes, will grace Bay Area screens starting November 19th: at San Francisco's Castro Theatre, at San Rafael's Smith Rafael and at Berkeley's Rialto Elmwood. I saw it at the Castro. I cannot stress the importance of size enough. On such a grand scale as the Castro offers, all those screens Ophuls shoots through—like curtains, gates, stove pipes—become supple folds in the conjunction of space; his cinema of things is too full to be seen small. Another thought: I couldn't quite shake how much Paul Thomas Anderson seems to inherit from Ophuls' roving, snaking camera that hovers through life's stages. Also, color. Lots of lots of color—as punctuation, as affect, as paint in the image, as a reminder (at every moment) that your eyes are being directed. This issue seems crucial, and unexplored in any explicit terms in my piece, which can be found at The Auteurs' Notebook. I trust some morsels will shine through my hi-jinks.
[Martine Carol was teh hottness. Bonus!]