A baroque meditation on the heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, playing like a ballet-cum-horror film; an ornate tapestry of enigmatic images, chilling synths, and traces of a tragic and eccentric life.
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Leave it to the French to romanticize legendary schizophrenic American madwoman Sarah Winchester, whose ridiculous home designed by the "voices" she heard, is now a S.F. Bay Area tourist trap (literally, with staircases leading nowhere). I am looking forward to the French opera based on the Unabomber Manifesto. You can buy tickets to Sarah Winchester's house here: http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/
Talk about yr hybrid films. This one is a combination of expressionistic ballet / opera, backstage exposé, information-delivery-system-type doc, and Gothic horror. All of it spliced together just so. I have never seen a better exemplar of the concept that much of the cutting of a movie is already going on in pre-production. These pieces fit together in a way that only cinema could make them. Sum greater than parts.
I love the idea of continually constructing and changing a house in a forlorn effort to escape the ghosts that haunt you. I'm much less sure that using dance to convey this is a successful marriage of medium and material particularly when the instruction is given to 'dance in your head' and representational movement is replaced by a fairly standard image of a faintly spectral child. Intriguing though.
Many years after the battle was fought, they say you could hear the sound of bones crunching under your feet when walking across the wheat fields of Gettysburg. The Western plains, too, so wide open and free, lay littered with the bleached white skulls of bison for decades. Winchester's repeating arms. Madness. Delusions. Dead children with loony mourning mothers. Oh, the mountains of wealth this nation has produced.
Bit esoteric and disjointed for me. I was disappointed that there was so little actual ballet. An excellent contribution by a choir helped enliven the middle but overall it was a mishmash of styles/mediums. The use of a little girl covered in blood was gratuitous and played to a hackneyed trope in cinema - I'd have thought blood stained male soldiers haunted the Winchesters the most.
Atmospheric, ambitious, and just the right amount of meta. This film begins telling a dark story of loss and frames it through the struggles of artists trying to capture it. There is a turn near the midway point that shifts the film and shakes the understanding of the film and it becomes more of a rumination on artistic relation to material and storytelling. The film disaffected, but not at the expense of intrigue.