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The setting is Vienna. A young American woman is brought to a hospital after overdosing on pills, apparently in a suicide attempt. A police detective suspects foul play on the part of her lover, an American psychology professor. As doctors try to save her life, the detective interrogates the professor, and through flashbacks we see the events leading up to the woman's overdose; her stormy and intensely sexual relationship with the professor, her heavy drinking and numerous affairs, and her estrangement from her Czech husband. A darkly erotic study of several rather unsympathetic characters. Written by
Marty Cassady <email@example.com>
Nicolas Roeg delves into erotic obsession in this film, with surprising results
His movie rates high in production value and acting and has an innovative approach to an old story
The film is basically a character study Alex (Art Garfunkel) is a depressingly dark and shadowy American psychoanalyst living in Vienna Theresa Russell plays Milena, a resonant, carefree American girl They meet by chance at a party and are thrown into a roller-coaster ride of an erotic relationship He wants to smash her free spirit because he can't understand it, but she won't let him The result is a near-fatal break-up
Roeg comes close to the story from the middle (obeying Jean-Luc Godard's authoritative saying, a film "must have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order." We quickly move to the different parts of Alex and Milena's relationship, moving through time as if it were Jell-O. The editing is intricate, but not confusing As we change location back and forth, we begin to see more clearly how these two unlikely lovers ever got together
The motion picture is filled with exceptional images, and Theresa Russell is outstanding
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