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Lola starring Barbara SukowaIn post-war Germany a young woman
  whose father was killed during the
  Second World War works at a high class
  brothel frequented by city officials as
  a high class prostitute and singer.
  Unexpectedly she attracts the attention
  of a newly-arrived ethical and
  respectable gentleman who falls in love
  with her and wants to marry her, little
  realising what she does in Rainer Werner
  Fassbinder’s 1981 drama Lola...”

LOOSELY-BASED ON JOSEF VON STERNBERG'S THE BLUE ANGEL (1930) and its source novel Professor Unrat by Heinrich Mann, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's compelling 1981 film Lola has been recently restored and now comes to home entertainment.

A fascinating and well-observed look at life in post-war Germany, Lola stars Barbara Sukowa (Berlin Alexanderplatz; Romance and Cigarettes) as a young, lovely, talented high class prostitute who plies her trade and sings at the local brothel.

Lola is an intriguing,
compelling and well-
observed movie
that reflects the lives
of German citizens
after the
Second World War...”
With a zest for life, Lola is the favourite of wealthy and influential property developer Schuckert (Mario Adorf: The Tin Drum), who is hoping to get a new project off the ground, and they have a child, Marie (Ulrike Vigo), but he does not see Lola as his exclusive mistress. Both Lola and Schuckert benefit from their liaison and both seem content with the way things are.

The mayor and Mr Timmerding (Karl-Heinz Von Hassel), the chief of Police also use the brothel, although the mayor makes futile attempts at covering his appearance there. Esslin (Matthias Fuchs) works for Schuckert during the day and is a drummer for the band at the brothel during the evening. He is fond of Lola and appears to be jealous of Schuckert.

Lola's daughter is being brought up by her mother, Frau Kummer (Karin Baal), and when the expected new building inspector, Von Bohm (Armin Mueller-Stahl: The Game; Angels & Demons), arrives, she goes to work for him as his housekeeper. He is polite and kind and Marie takes to him immediately. With strong ethics, he is very much a gentleman and Lola's mother would have him believe that Lola is a singer.

Lola engineers a meeting with Von Bohm, as she has made a bet with Schuckert that she can get him to kiss her hand, and he falls in love with her, unaware that she is the feted star of the brothel. He is an upright, honest, energetic, mature gentleman with a social-democratic outlook and even when he is steered in the direction of the brothel, he only goes along reluctantly.

He is finally faced with the truth in a very brutal way but, once he has come to terms with Lola's way of life, will he still want to marry her? And if he does, will Lola be content to be a respectable wife?

All Von Bohm wants is Lola and all Schuckert wants is to be awarded a new building contract as the city is developed in the aftermath of the war — and if he can keep Lola, too, that would be fine by him. And Lola? Does she know what she truly wants?

Set in a small West German town in 1957 where a booming economy is generating a new sense of optimism, Lola marks the third part of Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy alongside 1979's The Marriage of Maria Braun (BRD 1) and Veronika Voss (BRD 2), released in 1982. The three-letter acronym BRD stands for Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the official name of West Germany and of the united contemporary Germany, and represents Fassbinder's attempt to create an overall picture of West Germany at the time.

The notorious 'enfant terrible' of the German New Wave, Fassbinder won much renown as a radical and innovative writer-director and has been hailed as post-war Germany's greatest filmmaker, but he sadly died at just 37 years of age.

As prolific as he was controversial, Fassbinder is much admired by current American Indie filmmakers such as Todd Haynes and Richard Linklater and is enjoying a long overdue revival and reappraisal, thanks to a recent in-depth retrospective from the BFI.

Lola is an intriguing, entertaining, compelling and well-observed movie that reflects the lives of German citizens after the Second World War; looking at their morals, ethics and double standards.

Lola also features: Helga Federsen in a sympathetic character role as Faulein Hettich; Ivan Desny as Wittich; Elisabeth Volkmann as Gigi; Hark Bohm as Völker; Rosel Zech as Frau Schuckert; Christine Kaufmann as Susi; Sonja Neudorfer as Frau Fink; and Isolde Barth as Frau Völker.

Music is by Freddy Quinn and Peer Raben; Cinematography by Xaver Schwarzenberger; Writers are: Pea Frölich, Peter Märthesheimer and R W Fassbinder; Producers are: Wolf-Dietrich Brüker and Horst Wedlandt; Director is Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

* Lola is released by STUDIOCANAL in the UK on DVD, Blu-ray and EST on 3 July 2017. Certificate: 15 | Running Time: 113 Minutes | Year: 1981 | Extras: New Interview with Barbara Sukowa | New Interview with Juliane Lorenz, Editor and Head of the Fassbinder Foundation | Trailer.

"Lola is an intriguing, entertaining, compelling and well-observed movie that reflects the lives of German citizens after the Second World War" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar