Possession (Import, All Regions)
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Mark (Sam Neill) comes home from months on the road to find his flighty wife, Anna (Isabelle Adjani), ready to divorce him. Distraught and angry, he tracks down her lover, but discovers a secret unknown to either of the men. Anna has given birth, literally, to a demon lover, and she'll murder anyone who dares to come between them. Full of anger, jealousy, emotional suffering, and vindictiveness, this bizarre, bleak horror film is a mix of Hollywood melodrama, European psychodrama, and the raw, blunt emotions of personal art cinema. Mark and Anna grow increasingly shrill and erratic as they sink deeper into madness and obsession, and finally doppelgängers, also played by Neill and Adjani, arise to take their place.
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I've had this on the uncut DVD version since that came out years ago. Upon first viewing I was stunned, so odd... yet captivating. Adjani's performances was especially disturbing, and explosively shocking. It's a very strange possibly metaphorical expression of the breakdown of a once passionate relationship, turned completely volatile. After I watched The Babadook I was reminded of this movie because I see a connection and it wouldn't surprise me to find out Possession had some influence on the approach to that film.
Anyway I had to buy the Blu-ray after noticing it on the market, should be great in HD.
NEW BLU-RAY Special Edition MONDO VISION
superb edition, the packaging is stunning like many have noted. The HD transfer is excellent. A must have for those who love film and especially interesting uniquely metaphorical visuals... you could call this a form of surrealism.
But I wanted to see it and it just seemed the quickest hassle free way of doing so.
It was OK at best, although I must confess some confusion near the end kinda ruined it for me.
Maybe I need to re-watch this...but that's a lot of crazy to have to sit through!
Maybe someone can elaborate in the comments below?
Either way you'll be watching until the end.
Shot in West Berlin around the Berlin Wall, it also features Cold War imagery and symbolism. And bland, antiseptic buildings and furnishings (symbolizing the repressed emotions beneath the surface calm?).
The husband is a spy, and spends much time abroad. The wife has an affair. The husband is angry, gets violent, doesn't know what to do. The wife is angry, doesn't know what she wants. Her (bizarre, hypocritical, psychotic) lover grows angry when he discovers that she has yet another lover (a Lovecraftian beast, who is her spawn, hence incest, and growing into a doppleganger).
This is not an enjoyable film, but it's compelling. Typical of a "northern aesthetic" horror art that comes from northern continental Europe, and Canada. Films about strong emotions and desires that are repressed beneath cold impersonal architecture, furnishings, and mannerisms, and which eventually explode in crime, sex, and gore.
It's an aesthetic practiced by Canada's David Cronenberg, and in the Dutch film "The Lift," and in "The Fourth Man." (I think Cronenberg's "The Brood" is the finest film of this aesthetic.)