A spiral staircase movie, a never-ending metaphysical game of cat-and-mouse, a moral aspiration to the Heavens, a “spotlight” on God, a scornful detective movie, a horror movie and frightful, high-octane baroque work—Possession is all of that at once.
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360 degree tracking, harsh lateral camera movements, imposing performances, discordant dialogue. Cold War business, tyrannical architecture & decor, hatred of bureaucracy: I have no real idea where it all leads. Doubling, religiosity, murderous spouses. Zulawski is assured, & it's all impressive in a disconnected sort of way. 'Harrowing' is a suitable descriptor, but its mysteries cannot touch those of LE RAYON VERT.
Trying to decide whether this is a transgressive cinematic Bohemian Rhapsody or an unmitigated, over-reaching mess. There's definite talent; I get how demonic possession and mental health dysfunction have been deemed parallel (albeit very speculative), and I understand the satirical nous, but Żuławski's trademark histrionics lose their allegorical edge very quickly. Audacious but wonky. 3.5
So much more than the figurehead of the Cinema Brut movement. Zulawski's wildly expressionistic, practically apocalyptic reimagining of his own divorce commits incomparably honest thoughts and feelings to screen with a singular, barbarous intensity. Adjani and Neil are absolutely volcanic and Bruno Nuytten's camera circles and slingshots and weaves about the bloody, weepy pair tirelessly. Masterful and heartbreaking.
This is the film that made me fall in love with Zulawski. It goes to extremes as it becomes horrifying, crazy, and humorous. It's all part of that same palatte he uses so skillfully. Now that's what I call entertainment. Adjani really threw herself into it, body and soul, and Sam Neill more than adequately kept up with her.
One star for the aesthetics and another for that famous possession scene and some of Anna's expressions. I'm all about dysfunctional marriages, crazy women and a little bit of blood and gore... but this film is bonkers. Those hysteric characters doing so much noise, fighting and shedding blood for whatever reason... it all look a bit overdone. Poor Bob!
Chaotic and immersive, Zulawski builds non-stop tension on screen. I can honestly say that this film presents one of the most fucked up female characters I've ever watched. Crazy, sexy, coocoo. If you enjoy amazing scenes and surreal plots, this is your movie delight. Hold your breath for Possession.
white middle-class people really are this hysterical and I'm glad this fly-on-the-wall anthropological documentary has finally thrown a light on how difficult white middle-class lives are what with them trying to 'bottle it up' all the time
I once read an article where they said Sam Neill's acting was like he smoked a crack pipe and injected himself with rabies seconds before Zulawski rolled the camera, which really fits with both of the actors really.