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Andrzej Zulawski’s out-of-control horror masterpiece is one of cinema’s most bare-souled and open-veined accounts of a broken relationship.
Horror 1981 124 mins
Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Mark (Sam Neil) sends a private detective to follow his wife (Isabelle Adjani) suspecting her of having an affair, but the horrors are far worse than he imagines after it’s revealed her lover is a strange tentacled creature.
If this synopsis seems strange enough it can’t do justice do a wild, careering story that presents a hyper-real allegory on fidelity and identity. It’s also dense with political and literary allusions – a tale of Dostoevskyian doppelgangers set in the divided city of Berlin. The relentless energy of Zulawski’s prowling camerawork is matched in kineticism by Adjani’s thoroughly demented performance, which earned her a best actress award at Cannes. Completing the film’s bizarre backstory, Possession also found itself ill-fittingly included on the infamous ‘video nasty’ list of outlawed cassettes in the early 1980s. With creature effects by the Oscar-winning creator of E.T, Carlos Rambaldi, Possession is filmmaking at is most frenzied, fraught and furious.
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