Movies Houstonians Love: Bill Arning Presents Lola Montès

She was the muse and lover of the first true rock star, Franz Liszt, and the companion to kings like Ludwig I of Bavaria. She was a dancer, a circus performer and one of the most interesting women ever. In 1955 acclaimed director Max Ophüls brought her life to the big screen in the film Lola Montès; it’s seen here as part of the Movies Houstonians Love: Bill Arning Presents Lola Montès. It would be the last film Ophüls would ever complete — he finished it before a heart attack struck him down — but it paved the way for a dynamic new vision of color film and grand, sweeping, epic cinematography that later influenced Stanley Kubrick and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Sadly, it was poorly received when it first debuted, and huge cuts were made to the film in order to try to win it an audience. Much of this footage was considered lost, but recent discoveries have allowed for most of Ophüls’s original film to be presented. Audiences will watch as Montes, played with class and poise by Martine Carol, recounts her storied life and loves with the cream of Europe, her brutal marriage at a young age to a drunken beast, and the dark rewards of her dancing career. Montes was a one-of-a-kind person and Ophüls delivered a one-of-a-kind film.

7 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7315 or visit mfah.org. $9.
Mon., Nov. 25, 7 p.m., 2013

 
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