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Saturday, June 20, 2009


On November 11th, 1960, the Austrian movie “Wegen Verführung Minderjähriger” had its world premiere starring Marisa Mell as Inge, a 16 year old school girl falling in love with her 41 year old school teacher leading them both on a path of self destruction. The movie made quite some headlines at the beginning of the sixties in Europe at the dawn of the sexual revolution.
The impossible love story is a variation on a theme that became very notorious in 1955 when the Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov wrote his novel “Lolita”, now belonging to world literature. In his novel Nabokov tells the story, via his protagonist, of a middle aged man called Humbert Humbert, who becomes obsessed and sexually involved with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze, also called “Lo” or “Lolita”. The name "Lolita" has since then entered pop culture to describe a sexually precocious young girl. So it is not strange in the Marisa Mell movie that she as Inge reads at a certain point the Nabokov novel “Lolita” seeing herself as a real life Lolita seducing her much older teacher. Lolita got its first film adaptation in 1962, two years after the Austrian movie of 1960 and again in 1997. Since the 50’s, the name “Lolita” is associated with very young beautiful girls on the brink of their sexual awakening in a relationship with a much older man. This makes a lot of men dream of having such a relationship and was at the origin of a new kind of genre movies in Europe and especially Italy and France called what else the “Lolita” movies. Some of the best known Lolita movies are the first “Emmanuelle” by Just Jaeckin in 1974 or “Bilitis” by David Hamilton in 1977, emulating the free spirit of the 70’s.

Not only the movies picked up the character of Lolita, the music business did also. In 2000, at the age of 16, the French artist "Alizée" had a massive hit with “Lolita” in Central and Eastern Europe, selling more than 1,2 million copies. The name “Lolita” hit again in Europe in 2007 when the French candidate “Julien Doré” took the Alizée song and made a version of his own to compete in the French version of Idols, which he won and since then became a rising star in French speaking countries.

1 comment:

Keith said...

I always loved the novel and film.