A Sicilian widow earns her living as a clairvoyant, in Milan, but she hasn't got any power at all. Her son instead holds supernatural powers and with the help of his mother he becomes a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Mamma
Maurizio Degli Esposti ...
Son
Tina Aumont ...
Brenda
Rosaria
Dario Vigano
Gianfranco Pozzi
Anarella De Faveri
Renato Paracchi
Giovanni Ricci
Ferruccio Fantini
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Storyline

A Sicilian widow earns her living as a clairvoyant, in Milan, but she hasn't got any power at all. Her son instead holds supernatural powers and with the help of his mother he becomes a strong sorcerer. But he fails perhaps to understand the real strength he possesses inside and unbinds uncontrolled forces that lead people that surround him to go mad. Written by davide

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Drama | Horror | Mystery

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6 April 1972 (Italy)  »

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1.85 : 1
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The second half lost me
30 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was following Arcana for the first half. It told the story of a psychic and her son. The psychic appears to be a fake, running a con game on her clients (although she does mention that her mother was a true witch). The son is odd, sometimes dressing in women's clothes and stealing photographs from his mother's clients. The relationship between mother and son is charged with sexual tension. The story begins to change when the son becomes fixated on a pretty girl, engaged to be married, who comes to the mother for a reading. It was there the film lost me.

In the second half, the son begins to take a dominant role. Is he crazy, psychic, running a con, or some strange combination of all of these? There are flashbacks to the countryside where the mother's mother works her magic with a house full of gypsies and a donkey outside suspended in air. The film builds to an ending so grim that it could be described as apocalyptic, if it is to be taken literally. The film opens with a scrawl stating that the film is a card game and not all of it is real. I was left confused by both the ending and the film as a whole.

Arcana has much to recommend it. Lucia Bose as the mother is excellent and she gives the performance her all. In the country scene, she looks to be actually removing toads from her mouth. If that is not a special effect, then Miss Bose is one fearless actress! Furthermore, the film is eye catching with the hypnotic country scene being the stand out (catchy gypsy music too). An often intriguing film, but the ambiguity proved too much for me.


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