An American engineer in London, who is helping to dismantle the London Bridge to be transported to Arizona, strikes up an acquaintanceship with a young British woman. Several years later he... See full summary »
An American engineer in London, who is helping to dismantle the London Bridge to be transported to Arizona, strikes up an acquaintanceship with a young British woman. Several years later he happens to be at the bridge's new location and sees the woman again--but this time she's a real estate agent there, doesn't have a British accent and doesn't recognize him. Written by
Somehow one is reminded of Brian de Palmas film "Obsession" when watching this rarely seen German-American production from the early eighties. Ulli Lommel, once member of Rainer Werner Fassbinders highly intellectual actors group, turned to directing when he still under Fassbinders influence, but after his mentors untimely death he finally turned to more commercial topics. "Olivia" or "A Taste of Sin", as it is apparently also known at first sight looks like pure (S)Exploitation, but there's more to it. As Lommel says in the short interview that accompanies the films' German DVD release, the idea of the story came to his mind when he, while on a trip with his then-wife Suzanna Love (playing the main part), found out that the London Bridge was rebuild in Arizona. He used this as the outline for a sort of identity-switch trouble-personality killer-love story combining two places with two personalities, both of which essentially having been one from the very beginning. True, the way the story unfolds is far from cinematic brilliance, but nonetheless it is quite entertaining; and in no one way is this modern fairytale the brutal splatter film that others would probably want it to be. There are some harsh effects, and a few violent scenes are included in the aforementioned DVD as bonus (yet only the material that was originally cut out is seen, which makes some of this bonus shorter than even a second!). But sex, murder and blood, while still important for the outline, are not the main attractions. Lommel intensely tries to give his film a psychological touch. Because of his limited skills in storytelling, he does not succeed. But still: Olivias rite of passage makes for entertaining viewing, especially is you like that particular touch of weirdness, absurdity and "otherness" that so many great underground pictures from the 70s carry.
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