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Julius Morlang is a successful art photographer who has moved on after the tragic suicide of his first wife, Ellen. He has found a new muse and lover in Ann, a younger version of Ellen. With the expected success of his new exhibition a near certainty, life for Morlang seems almost perfect - for now. But the past still haunts him. The voice of his dead wife appears on his answering machine - someone sends him her funeral announcement. Paranoia grows, and he is not sure whom he can trust. What is real and is imagined - and can you trust the one you love? Written by
Aubrey Wiseman <Aubreys@hotmail.com>
Starts off very slowly but fortunately the excitement and script builds--so DON'T touch that remote!
This Dutch film was made mostly in Ireland--an interesting pedigree for a film! This is a very strange film for American audiences because the style is so alien compared to Hollywood's fare. Instead of starting with a bang like most films, this one very slowly unfolds--giving you more and more insight into the characters and plot over the course of the film. Unfortunately, people who expect to see lots of action or plot early on might be tempted to turn off the film. I must admit that I was a bit irritated because a half hour into the movie I still didn't see where this film was headed. However, in hindsight, this is the beauty of MORLANG. Its slow and artistically handled script worked well once I let go of my need for immediate clarity.
The title character, Morlang, is a famous modern artist whose life seems rather ideal at first. He is successful, has a lovely young girlfriend (or bride--they never made this clear) and lives in a nice home along the cliffs of the Irish coast. However, into his almost ideal world come bizarre and cryptic messages from an unknown person. These messages concern the death of his wife and at first the work seem like that of a mad man or person who is just a jerk. However, why he is being stalked and persecuted is slowly revealed--showing that there is far more to the story than just some bizarre fan harassing him. This led to many unexpected twists and turns that kept me guessing--something that doesn't happen enough in films. As a result, the plot seems more intellectually stimulating and fascinating than anything else. While I could tell you a lot more about the plot, I won't, as it might spoil your viewing.
By the way, I really liked some of Morlang's art. I don't know who really did the pieces, but some of his canvases were really exceptional--particularly the nude self-portrait. Because we got to see Morlang work during the film, the movie reminded me a bit of the amazing Alec Guinness classic, THE HORSE'S MOUTH--though in most other ways, these are very, very different films.
Also, parents be forewarned--the subject matter gets very adult AND there's some graphic male nudity. It was appropriate to the film, so it wasn't necessarily objectionable--but I doubt if most parents want their kids seeing frontal nudity of old men.
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