Malpertuis is a labyrinth where characters issued from the Greek mythology are made prisoners by Cassavius. He manages to keep them (as well as his nephew and niece) as prisoners even after his death, through a binding testament.
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I love this type of cinema. The moodiness, the colours, the music, the fantastical, macabre elements, the pacing. Unusually impactful. In terms of theme and characters, I was reminded of Jireš' 'Valerie'. The version in which Welle's lines are dubbed over is a bit distracting. The ending, too, errs on the side of corniness, but for what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in imagination. It was very satisfying.
A truly gorgeous film that manages some very neat evocations, (the name's connection to the fox and its connotation of 'The Devil') but goes off the rails as soon as Orson Welles dies. Loose abject dramatic developments (such as the murder of several characters) sort of hang in space without much readable reason to care. Intelligent emotional investment is severed by the way the presentation drains potential meaning.
Une intéressante tentative d'adaptation du célèbre roman fantastique belge par l'auteur des "Lèvres rouges" qui n'arrive pas à la cheville du roman de Jean Ray, un auteur essentiel, hélas longtemps méconnu... www.cinefiches.com