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Uncanny Valentine: Possession
February 14 @ 6:25 pm - 8:25 pm
Introduced by Irene Silvera Frischknecht, a film programmer with a special interest in the Uncanny on screen.
In 1981 West Berlin, US undercover agent Mark (Sam Neill) returns home to find his wife Anna (Isabelle Adjani, who won ‘Best Actress’ at Cannes for this) exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior following her request for a divorce. The film, which initially promises to be a relationship intrigue, quickly develops into a gem of an unclassifiable psychological-horror-drama, and it has found a dedicated cult following since being first identified with the ‘video-nasties’ of the 80s.
Possession is, in many ways, an expression of the internal landscape of the director at the time of filming; recently divorced from his wife and exiled from his native Poland, Andrzej Żuławski was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The torment and hysteria of love destroyed is perfectly set in a disintegrating country, with the Berlin Wall – severing what was once united – a clear metaphor for divorce.
The real horror lies not in the film’s extreme imagery, but in its all-too-real depiction of a degenerative mind. This is a hell of a film, if you’re prepared for it!