Friday, March 19, 2010

POSSESSION (Andrzej Zulawski, 1981)

France/West Germany

Kramer Versus Kramer: Unexpurgated and Unhinged. If that doesn’t sound delectable, just ponder the notion of Isabelle Adjani in her shrieky phase replacing Meryl Streep in her meticulous phase. In a movie that understands divorce isn’t a poignant drama of bonding. It’s a grotesque surrealist psychosexual horror, with intellectual pretensions. With a creature in the closet: Oh, how to describe the creature? Something like a rancid vagina with tentacles, which in time naturally evolves into a slithery phallus. With tentacles. All this interspersed with conversations between hypergesticulating men with clashing accents along the lines of: “There’s nothing to fear except God, whatever that means to you;” “For me God is a disease;” “That’s why through disease we can reach God.” As her own wholesome pliable doppelganger Adjani commences a staggering monologue with “There’s nothing common to all women except menstruation.”

So yes, intellectual pretensions galore. But the film’s real value has nothing to do with intellect, and everything to do with viscous, delirious where-could-this-possibly-go-next please-stop-no-don’t-stop fun. I, for one, refuse to live in a world without it.

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