In a Nutshell. Mini reviews of movies old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. And often no sleep.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Spirits of the Dead (1968)

aka Histoires Extraordinaires

An anthology film comprised of three works based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe. The three directors are Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, and Federico Fellini, respectively, with each film lasting for approx 40 minutes.
01. Vadim's Metzengerstein was my favourite. Jane Fonda plays a debauched Countess who dresses like an ancestor of Barbarella (also a Vadim film). A poetic v/o adds extra beauty, while a recurring musical theme generates unease. It's ridiculous but is the only one I'll choose to watch again.
02. Malle's William Wilson is a flashback story that starts out okay but slows to a deathly crawl wherein all impetus is lost. I generally like confessional narratives, but it was too tedious to recommend.
03. Fellini's Toby Dammit is typically arty, employing an unusual colour palette, but has very little discernible Poe. Terence Stamp is fantastic as the troubled actor, working from a script that's pretentious and infuriating. It's five mins of greatness diluted with thirty-five mins of self-indulgence.

3 torments out of 5

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