Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 173: Friday June 24

Malpertius (Kumel, 1971): ICA Cinema, 9pm
Also screening Wednesday 29 June, 8.45pm

Belgian director Harry Kumel was responsible for the cult vampire movie Daughters of Darkness which the Cigarette Burns crowd showed earlier this year. I haven't seen this film, which gets a rare screening as part of the ICA's Cinema Architects of the Uncanny season, but quite clearly it will be well worth a trip to The Mall to investigate.

Here is the Time Out review:

'A fresh-faced blond sailor (Carrière) is shanghaied from a '20s port full of sleazy bars and art-nouveau mansions, and held captive in the endless corridors of a crumbling Gothic pile called Malpertuis: we don't discover why until the end, in a denouement as outrageous and devastating as any ever filmed. Kümel elaborates the mystery like a master, drawing much of his design and composition from Surrealist painting (Magritte, de Chirico), and weaving serpentine patterns from the intrigues between the many characters. Welles is at his most mountainous as the house's patriarch; Hampshire is a revelation, playing three contrasted women. This English-dialogue version is better than the French and Flemish originals (which run 22 minutes longer). From the novel by Jean Ray.' Tony Rayns


Here is an extract (no translation available)

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