Lola

Part two (between The Marriage of Maria Braun and Veronika Voss) of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's trilogy on Germany's “economic miracle” of the 1950s. This 1982 film is a very loose remake of The Blue Angel, with an upright building commissioner (Armin Mueller-Stahl) falling in love with a corrupt cabaret singer (Barbara Sukowa); but where the driving force in Sternberg's film is sex, in Fassbinder's it's money. Despite the cold, abstract visuals—Sirk's colors and Sternberg's clutter—the film is one of Fassbinder's warmest, with a close, affectionate direction of actors unlike anything he'd ever attempted. It's a smooth, even, professional film in which nothing surprising happens—which seems, obscurely, to be its point. With Mario Adorf.

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