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Courtesy of Rialto Pictures

Law Building
1001 Bissonnet
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Directed by Max Ophüls

1955, in French with English subtitles

France

115 minutes

35mm

Showtimes

Introduced by Bill Arning, director, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

The life and sins of Lola Montès (Martine Carol), the famous courtesan and mistress to Franz Liszt and the king of Bavaria, is recounted in lavish color against the backdrop of a nineteenth-century circus. Controversial upon its release, the film was eventually butchered by producers and the original negative nearly destroyed. But technology has finally allowed film archivists to restore Ophüls's widely considered masterpiece. With the help of the Cinémathèque Française and other French organizations, scratches, tears, and missing frames were repaired, and the full stereophonic magnetic track restored. The at-long-last restored Lola Montès was a sensation at 2008's Cannes Film Festival. ¨In my unhumble opinion, the greatest film ever made! ¨ —film critic and theorist Andrew Sarris

Bill Arning is the director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. After arriving in Texas in 2009 Arning organized solo exhibitions of Marc Swanson, Matthew Day Jackson and the late Stan VanDerBeek. Jackson and VanDerBeek were jointly organized with the MIT List Visual Arts Center where Arning was exhibitions curator from 2000-2009. At MIT he organized shows of AA Bronson, Cerith Wyn Evans and a retrospective of the Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler. From 1985 to 1996 Arning was director of White Columns in New York City where he organized groundbreaking first solo shows for many of the best known artists of his generation including John Currin, Marilyn Minter, Andres Serrano, Richard Phillips, Cady Noland, and Jim Hodges among many others. Arning has written on art for journals such as Artforum, Art in America, and Parkett and multitudes of international museum publications. Arning is co-curating a career survey of renown painter Marilyn Minter with Elissa Auther and the MCA Denver in 2015.