The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is proud to present the Australian premiere of the digital restoration of Model Shop from acclaimed French director, Jacques Demy (Lola, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg).
Model Shop has been meticulously restored to digital format, enabling audiences to rediscover the luminous Anouk Aimée alongside Gary Lockwoodin this loving tribute to the City of Angels.
The film chronicles the bittersweet tale of a brief encounter between a young and disillusioned architect, George (Lockwood) and the enchanting Lola (Aimée). George is seemingly indifferent to the happenings around him – his girlfriend’s threats to leave, the repossession of his car by the finance company, and the looming Vietnam draft.
In need of some fast cash, George ventures to Los Angeles to visit a friend, encountering Lola for the first time. When he sees her next, Lola is walking into a ‘model shop’ where she poses for voyeuristic men in states of undress. Broken hearted, Lola plans to return to Paris but for now she must remain in Los Angeles, representing a beacon of hope and mystery for George.
In his only American film, renowned French New Wave director, Demy reprised the title character from his debut film, Lola,in which audiences meet her a decade later living in Los Angeles.
In his essay titled ‘Bitter Sweet the Joyous Cinema of Jacques Demy’, James Quandt described both Lola and Model Shop as “two films bookending the sixties and reflecting its drift from hope to disillusion – death, marital discord and break-up, and a slide into penury and exploitation have turned Lola’s seaport paradise in Nantes into urban perdition in America.”
Model Shop screens in the same month as ACMI presents Joyous Curiosity: The Cinema of Agnès Varda. Often referred to as the ‘Godmother of the New Wave’, Varda and Demy were married for many years. Whilst their artistry was never directly linked, Varda made two documentaries about Demy, which will feature in ACMI’s Agnès Varda retrospective season.
The First Look season of Model Shop screens at ACMI from Saturday 7 June to Sunday 15 June 2014. For further information, please visit acmi.net.au/fl_model_shop.
CTC, Dir. Jacques Demy. 92 mins, USA/France, 1969 DCP- New Digital Restoration. Source & Courtesy: Park Circus.