In honour of Sue Lyon, who passed away last December at 73, No Future screens Stanley Kubrick’s celebrated and darkly comic adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s bestselling and controversial novel LOLITA.
Lyon made her much-touted screen debut as Dolores “Lolita” Haze, the adolescent girl who becomes the object of sexual obsession and violence for James Mason’s Humbert Humbert, a cunning middle-aged literature professor. Following a whirlwind marriage to Lolita’s mother (Shelley Winters), Humbert conspires to steal his stepdaughter away on a paranoid cross-country American road trip, where they are shadowed by his doppelgänger Quilty (Peter Sellers), who has his own dark designs on Lolita.
Adapted by Nabokov in a 400-page tome that was mostly discarded in favour of Kubrick’s uncredited rewrites, the film is a pitch black satire of louche male monsters who hide behind euphemisms, poetry, and fine suits. It’s no less disturbing than Nabokov’s novel for its reliance on inference in its depiction of Humbert’s and Quilty’s sexual predation on Lolita. And while her character’s interiority can be as ambiguous as in the novel, Lyon’s performance gives a willful air to Lolita, making her both a victim and an inscrutable actor in her own right.
None Currently Scheduled