"Max Ophüls’ Lola Montès: the cinematic analog to Charlie Parker with Strings or, better yet, the second movement of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32 (when a whimsical 19th-century sway glides into a heavy ragtime swing, long before such a genre was even around). Like those two musical works, Lola Montès is a near perfect marriage of classicism and modernism. The real-life rise and fall of an aristocratic femme fatale who ends up as a circus attraction (literally), the film’s formal elegance has rarely been matched, and yet the borders of its expansive CinemaScope frame can scarcely contain the director’s kinetic visuals. With every frame saturated with unreasonable grandeur, Lola Montès is nothing short of an Ophüls-explosion..."
Cullen Gallagher is a Brooklyn-based writer, musician, and curator whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Life Sentence, Moving Image Source, Bright Lights Film Journal, Beat to a Pulp, NoirCon, Crimefactory, Film Comment, The L Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Fandor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Hammer to Nail, Spinetingler, Between Lavas, Reverse Shot, and Guitar Review. He records instrumental music as Modern Silent Cinema and plays in the hardcore band Night Squad.