Monday, October 19, 2020

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 19: Posession

Andrzej Żuławski's 1981 film Possession was for many years the stuff of legend. Filmed in 1981, it won lead actress Isabelle Adjani as Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival, and then was barely released before being banned, edited down from 120 minutes to 80 minutes, and then barely released again.

When putting together the list of films I would watch for this countdown, I was afraid Possession would be the one I wouldn't actually be able to see. It isn't available to stream, and DVDs are hard to come by, especially for rental. Luckily a friend in So Cal came through, lending me his DVD copy of the Mondo special edition of the original two-hour cut of the film.

How to describe this film without sounding like Stefan describing the hottest club in New York? It has everything: Cold War spies; doppelgangers; murder; a child named BOB. And just when you think the fun is all over, the tentacles come out.

And maybe that's making it sound kookier than it is; it's not a silly movie. It's very serious, sometimes too much so. The acting is often so overwrought you assume it's going for parody, but it most definitely isn't. It's like taking Cronenberg's The Brood, another body-horror movie that deals with divorce, translating it into German/Polish culture, and then back into an English language film. 

It's just wonderfully and unforgettably weird, OK? See it if you can.

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