Model Shop

(USA, 1969, 95 mins, DCP)
In English
CAST Anouk Aimee, Gary Lockwood, Alexandra Hay


Demy’s first (and only) Hollywood movie looks better every time you check back in with it. Model Shop spans a twenty-four-hour period in the life of George Matthews (Gary Lockwood, just off of 2001: A Space Odyssey), a moody young man of middle-class privilege in Los Angeles. He’s quit his secure but unrewarding architecture job and fallen into an aimless existence with his dissatisfied, wannabe model girlfriend Gloria (Alexandra Hay), when creditors come calling for his cherished vintage MG. In a seemingly listless attempt to stave off this eventuality, George wanders in his car in search of $100 to pay off its re-possessors, but along the way he catches sight of a pensive yet elegant Frenchwoman in a car dealer’s parking lot and decides to follow her. It turns out to be Lola (Anouk Aimée), the recently-divorced title heroine of Demy’s 1961 feature debut, now working in a “model shop” where men can photograph women in private sessions in a variety of intimate backdrops, with an implied liaison afterwards. She’s trying to make enough money to return to France to her daughter. It’s Lola in LA, in other words, a

"A marvel of tone and decor…forges the impossible bridge between Quentin Tarantino’s in-jokey cinematic universe of intertwined characters and events, and the recently-completed Before trilogy of Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke." Next Projection

"One of the great movies about LA." Geoff Andrew, Time Out Film Guide