Spirits of the Dead-Metzengerstein (1968)

Part one of a 3-in-1 Edgar Allen Poe anthology, baton passed between directors Vadim, Malle and Fellini.

Jules: Are soulmates real, even if one or more of the parties behave soullessly? What is the price to save one’s soul, once it it lost? Roger Vadim and his beautiful entourage seek answers beneath the surface of things.

David: A tragic ghost myth? A seminal precursor to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not? Or both, plus a costume repurposing opportunity from the immediately prior intramarital collaboration by Vadim and Fonda, Barbarella ?

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Wake In Fright (1971)

wake-in-fight

David: A changing of the guard in Australian thespianism, featuring Jack Thompson in his first cinema role and Chips Rafferty in his last. It’s a great swan song by Rafferty, upsidedowning everything he’d done before. But Wake In Fright goes much further, upending the entire Australian dream into one of the more harrowing journeys into biblical Hell ever put to film. Of those even aware of it, many regard Wake In Fright as the greatest Australian film ever made, but its particular brutality and antithetical perversity put it in a class that begs no comparison.

Jules: A high-noon nightmare collision between the vestiges of high-minded European culture and the alien landscape of inland Australia. Rationality is discarded as our Anglo-Australian everyman descends into an inferno of instinctual drives, unquestioned customs, and murderous violence. But, amongst the beer-swilling and paddock-bashing, is anything as it seems?

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