A man-hungry suburban woman feels frustrated since she lives in the home of her prudish aunt and cousin, who interrupt and criticise her amorous liaisons. A co-worker brings her to a ... See full summary »
A man-hungry suburban woman feels frustrated since she lives in the home of her prudish aunt and cousin, who interrupt and criticise her amorous liaisons. A co-worker brings her to a tarot-card reader, who introduces her to a club of women who meet occasionally to share an intoxicating brew, tease each other erotically with long-stemmed roses and honour the heathen god Pan. The occultist manages to corrupt the aunt and cousin, and lure the woman into full-fledged membership so she might participate in its climactic ritual. Written by
Sarno is one of the last "undiscovered" auteurs, and though this is an obscure title, it is likely his finest work. As in his best-known American film, Sin in the Suburbs, his camera subtly pries into the confined and frustrated world of Kennedy-era suburban America. Without any explicit sex or nudity (save for a few see-through peignoirs), he is able to conjure up an overwhelming atmosphere of mystery and eroticism, tinged simultaneously with anomie and longing. And as in the earlier film, the occult trappings serve to intensify the characters' escape from "normality" and lure the viewer into breathless complicity. Although technically primitive, the many strikingly lit and composed images place this work squarely in Lewtonesque territory.
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