The Possessed

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

Moderator: MichaelB

Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

The Possessed

#1 Post by domino harvey » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:03 am

Image

The Possessed is a wonderfully atmospheric proto-giallo based on one of Italy’s most notorious crimes, The Alleghe killings, and adapted from the book on that case by acclaimed literary figure Giovanni Comisso.

Peter Baldwin (The Ghost, The Weekend Murders) stars as Bernard, a depressed novelist who sets off in search of his old flame Tilde (Virna Lisi, La Reine Margot), a beautiful maid who works at a remote lakeside hotel. Bernard is warmly greeted by the hotel owner Enrico (Salvo Randone, Fellini's Satyricon) and his daughter Irma (Valentina Cortese, Thieves Highway, The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire), but Tilde has disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Bernard undertakes an investigation and is soon plunged into a disturbing drama of familial secrets, perversion, madness and murder...

Co-written by Giulio Questi (Death Laid an Egg, Arcana) and co-directed by Luigi Bazzoni (The Fifth Cord, Footprints on the Moon), The Possessed masterfully combines film noir, mystery and giallo tropes, whilst also drawing on the formal innovations of 1960s art cinema (particularly the films of Michelangelo Antonioni). A uniquely dreamlike take on true crime, The Possessed is presented here in a stunning new restoration.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
  • Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original Italian and English soundtracks, titles and credits
  • Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by writer and critic Tim Lucas
  • Richard Dyer on The Possessed, a newly filmed video appreciation by the cultural critic and academic
  • Cat’s Eyes, an interview with the film's makeup artist Giannetto De Rossi
  • Two Days a Week, an interview with the film's award-winning assistant art director Dante Ferretti
  • The Legacy of the Bazzoni Brothers, an interview with actor/director Francesco Barilli, a close friend of Luigi and Camillo Bazzoni
  • Original trailers
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips
FIRST PRESSING ONLY : Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Andreas Ehrenreich, Roberto Curti and original reviews

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: The Possessed

#2 Post by zedz » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:09 pm

This is a terrific film, beautifully shot and dripping with atmosphere. It's been promoted as an early giallo (because, duh), but it isn't really. It's a European arthouse thriller that's more in the noir tradition - its original title is even "The Lady in the Lake"! The cinematography is superb, and often drifts into the dreamlike - not so much in terms of actual dream sequences, but as multiple subjunctive projections by the novelist protagonist, who is both trying to solve a mystery and imagining the book he could write about it. A fine discovery by Arrow that I recommend. The extras are solid, though the film is so obscure that the people interviewed about it seem to barely remember it. Fortunately, they have had long, illustrious careers and have plenty to say anyway.

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: The Possessed

#3 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:43 am

I second that. It's an astonishing achievement. It successfully dislocates you from reality by getting you to share the subjectivity of a protagonist who sometimes finds he can no longer determine if he's following clues or inventing them. It's a disorienting and beautiful movie that's been unfairly neglected. Really shares as much with Blow Up/The Conversation as it does the Euro sex-thriller that would become the giallo. Solving a murder becomes an act of paranoid creation.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Possessed

#4 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 14, 2019 10:36 am

Sorry to say this didn’t do much for me. The tone is strong at the outset and I kept giving it rope, but after the second indistinguishable dream sequence I was just done and had zero investment in the mystery or parsing together the plot strands. I agree that selling this as an “early giallo” is just marketing— it’s typical artsy international co-production art house fare, with a few brief shots of carnage to tip ever so slightly into horror. I found nothing about the cinematography to be any better or worse than any other B&W European production of this era— it’s competently well-filmed but certainly not “beautiful” or “superb.” I saw Sausage ranked this in his top ten for horror movies last round, but I’m afraid the charms present here escaped me. Not a bad film by any stretch, but I’m a little stunned that two prominent members value it so highly— it was all a bit of a mess to me

User avatar
tarpilot
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:48 am

Re: The Possessed

#5 Post by tarpilot » Tue May 14, 2019 11:15 am

Cold Bishop also gave it an effusive review back then (under its original Italian title) after I made it my spotlight

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Possessed

#6 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 14, 2019 3:46 pm

Everyone is conspiring against me, it’s a plot. Wait, where have I heard that before...

Post Reply