In New York, the money-driven dealer Dean Corso is a rare-books expert and partner of Bernie, who owns a bookstore. He is contacted by the renowned collector of books about the devil Boris Balkan, who has just acquired the rare The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows from the collector Andrew Telfer, to verify whether his book is authentic or a forgery. Balkan explains that the book was written by the writer Aristide Torchia, in 1666, with Lucifer and he was burned at the stake with his entire work. There are only three exemplars of The Nine Gates and in accordance with the legend, its nine engravings form a riddle to conjure the devil. The skeptical Corso accepts the assignment and has to flight to Sintra, Portugal, and Paris, France, to contact the owners Victor Fargas and Baroness Kessler and find the genuine exemplar for Balkan. Meanwhile, he asks Bernie to hide the rare book. Before traveling to Europe, the widow Liana Telfer wants to retrieve the book and has sex with Corso, ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The two booksellers Corso encounters in Toledo are actually the same actor, José López Rodero. Writer/director/producer Roman Polanski used a motion capture rig to use the same actor twice. The same man appears again later, playing two workmen cleaning out the bookstore. Rodero was an assistant director and production manager, not a professional actor. He was hesitant to accept these multiple parts. See more »
When Liana Telfer smashes up a bottle on Corso's head, the sound of glass breaking comes before the bottle actually makes contact. See more »
It's an impressive collection. You have some very rare editions here. Are you sure you want to sell them all?
Old Man's Son:
They're of no use to father. Not anymore. Not since he's been this way. His library was his whole world. Now it's just a painful memory.
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Granted, I'm slightly biased since I happen to love Mr. Polanski's work, but this film was really good. It kind of built in a slow, very menacing way and had an intelligent plot, only fully concluded until you're out of the cinema. As usual with the demanding master, the performances are first class, specially Langella and Depp. Here comes a brief summary of the highlights in my opinion:
Brilliant cinematography by the talented Darius Khondji (of Se7en fame).
The most original title sequence I've seen this side of Bond.
Also listen closely to Wojchiech Kilars (of Dracula fame) absolutely brilliant score. So light, and yet so heavy and menacing. Very un-Hollywood.
It definetly puts Polanski back into the game again. Now if they'd only let him back into the states so we could get
a new Chinatown.....
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