The year is 1918. It is the end of World War I and the beginning of Lola’s cinematic career. The film is called Lola Montez. Leopoldine Konstantin, an Austrian actress of stage and screen, takes the lead role. The film is a tragic fantasy involving Lola Montez’s passionate love for the charming bandit Madon. His rival, the Regent, bribes Lola’s maid to spy for him and orchestrates the bandit’s melodramatic death at the film’s conclusion. It is conventional movie fare for the time, histrionically acted. But one scene stands out in particular. Midway through the film, Lola is asleep in her bedroom. There is a jump cut and we are as surprised as she is to see the bandit Madon standing by her bed. They embrace passionately. As they kiss, the bandit morphs into a skeleton only to morph further into the emptiness described by Lola’s arms. He is gone! It was a dream! But make no mistake about it: the embrace of this Lola spells death.
KeywordsAmerican Film Drag Queen Female Sexual Desire Urban Skyline Signature Song
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