» » Clubbed to Death (Lola) (1996)

Short summary

A young woman visiting Paris, misses the last bus home, finds herself stranded on the outskirts of Paris. Entering a local club, she meets a troubled drug addict.

The film was inspired by the Rob Dougan techno song Clubbed to Death

The first two parts of the Matrix trilogy both have a title that was first heard in this movie.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Aradwyn
    This film is one of my personal favourites, although I doubt many people would call it a classic. It has a very luscious, stylish feel to it that isn't particularly common. There is something very French about it - while depressing in one sense, it is very warm and satisfying in another. The story is a fairly empty one about a young girl turned neophyte clubber on the outskirts of Paris, but it isn't really trying to convey a story so much as a feeling. The main characters - the pretty, upbeat, confused little girl and the faintly hopeless, depressed, drug-dependent boxer have very unique qualities that counteract each other in a compelling way, and the film ultimately deals with such issues as the pointlessness of life. What really elevates this film, though, is the soundtrack. Each track was carefully handpicked, and the dream-like club scenes are a sheer joy to watch. As the director Yolande Zauberman said (I think), the soundtrack is one of the main actors in this film. Although Rob D's 'Clubbed To Death' is the central pinnacle, there are many other exquisite offerings such as the more commercial 'Leave Home' by the Chemical Brothers, or Gavin Bryars' short orchestral 'Farewell To Philosophy Bar'. Certain tracks such as 'Rollin' & Scratchin' by the pop-status Daft Punk were in the film but failed to make it to the disc. It is also worth noting that all of the tracks used in this film were pretty obscure at the time - Daft Punk didn't make their breakthrough until about a year later.
  • comment
    • Author: Legionstatic
    As an exercise in "cinema du look" Clubbed to Death is an outright tour de force of moody, atmospheric shot-making; yet its let down by its very sparse story which barely holds its 80 minute length and might as well have been written on a handkerchief. It's a pity, because the dank, underground club vibe is spot-on for the mid-1990s dance music scene. The best aspect of the film is the lighting and the dynamic choice of music, provided by such hipsters as Daft Punk and Masters at Work to namedrop but a few. In this sense, the film has limited appeal for clubheads. The acting is a bit dazed and confused which was probably the intention. This is an often intriguing attempt to tell a sparse story through dramatic visual flourishes.
  • comment
    • Author: SARAND
    "Clubbed to Death " (called "Lola in Technoland" in Germany) is a typical French movie - it's about music, it's about youth, it's about desire and about the nineties. A young French girl misses her bus and is led to a suburban techno music club by accident where she faces the electronic dance music culture as well as a big love affair. That's the whole plot, but it's enough, as many French movies don't have much contents - but have many things to tell and a big impact on the viewers.

    "Lola in Technoland" lives from its many impressions about love and music - actually there are not even many action and dialogues going on, but the music (mainly electronic dance and trance grooves) accompanies the heroine's trip through the clubbing world and love affairs. It's very well photographed and shows a permanent atmosphere of emptiness, desires and longings. There isn't the typical hectic setting of a bright and loud and battered dance club, but the locations rather appear a surreal suburban dreamscape at night.

    On the good side, this movie is stunning, impressive, groovy, erotic and a contemporary French answer to the British "Trainspotting" cinema, but without the noise, tempo, words, lights and violence. On the bad side, it's just a well-done music video clip, soft sex movie and background visual for closing your eyes and chilling out on your sofa - or in the club of your choise. Anyway, it's an outstanding French film and a very stylish insight into the clubbing scene of the nineties with a brilliant sound track!
  • comment
    • Author: Xaluenk
    A very odd film this - is it about the club scene or a boxing match. The decaying urban setting is quite apt for this group of semi-estranged characters. There is an unreal atmosphere about the whole film which makes it just about watchable, just the thing to watch on Channel 4 at 12:30am on Sunday/Monday. But there were immense problems with continuity, how did Lola end up in this warehouse party in the first place. She didn't know about it when she was on the bus at the start, what was she doing - just going on the bus for no particular reason. None of the characters were particularly engaging and I did not have much idea where the plot was going. However, a big thumbs up for the soundtrack particularly the soaring orchestral Clubbed to Death track, one of MoWax's greatest ever releases. Overall 4.5-5/10
  • comment
    • Author: POFOD
    Seeing this movie definitely doesn't stimulate to take drugs. The characters don't seem to be enjoying it much. I like the suburban background. Because it hasn't been over styled. The same for the clothing. The movie is slow paced and tells a love-story. Several scenes I really like. Emir and Lola are dancing. And out of the blue Emir walks away without looking around. He walks straight to his former lover. And the moment Emir understands he has to fight his brother.
  • comment
    • Author: Trex
    Although the film may not stand up entirely to scrutiny, it is still a good film, especially when viewed late at night, when it works far better. There are scenes in the film which are very impressive, the kiss scene using the the 'Clubbed to Death' music, although the tunes overuse can become annoying. Overall the film merits a viewing, as it can be visually appealing
  • comment
    • Author: Sennnel
    A vivid portrayal of urban loneliness, not for the homeless or the truly destitute but for the ordinary. The cinematography is first-rate; metallic yellows and greens give a vertiginous, hallucinogenic feel to the club scenes. The excellent Chemical Brothers soundtrack is used to startling effect, building an inexorable tension right up to the finale. The unexpected outcome of this harsh and sometimes despairing film is the possibility of love and of redemption. I switched it on out of curiosity and ended up mesmerised.
  • comment
    • Author: Peles
    Although one could consider this just another balieu-movie, it takes a charming, atmospheric approach to the scene, focusing on the night life. It moves on slowly, content is given more by situations than dialogues. In fact, no more words than actually necessary are spoken. Not a masterpiece, but charming to watch, especially at home late at night.
  • Credited cast:
    Élodie Bouchez Élodie Bouchez - Lola
    Roschdy Zem Roschdy Zem - Emir
    Béatrice Dalle Béatrice Dalle - Saida
    Richard Courcet Richard Courcet - Ismael
    Gérald Thomassin Gérald Thomassin - Paul
    Luc Lavandier Luc Lavandier - Pierre
    Alex Descas Alex Descas - Mambo
    Julie Bataille Julie Bataille - Johanna
    Philippe Roux Philippe Roux - Bus Driver
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Sérgio Grilo Sérgio Grilo
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