Thursday, March 17, 2016

Possession (1981)

This might be one do the best directed films of all time. From the get-go, everything is pitched at this extremely heightened level. The camerawork, the music, the performances are all ramped up to 11 - and somehow Andrzej Żuławski is able to sustain it for a full two hours!

Aside from the moment where Anna and Mark decide to separate, nothing else in this movie bears much resemblance to the real world. Possession is the internal made external. All the wild, angry, depressed, violent, lustful, fearful emotions at play during a divorce are given manifest and made real in some of the most jaw-dropping of ways.

These actors had to have been very trusting. They're all buying into the same level of mania as the film itself. This way every scene seems of a piece with every other scene, no matter how bizarre. That scene with Anna in the metro tunnel could have been one of the most ludicrous scenes in cinema, but with Adjani's talent and her absolute faith in her director's vision, it's a horrifying masterpiece. And so is the rest of the film. I hope this terrifying gem becomes easier to see and soon. There's literally nothing quite like it.

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