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A New Kind of Film
It is a truism that film, as a photographic medium, intrinsically resists the psychological. In the hands of a less gifted director, this would have been equally true of STAY, despite its overt plot in which a professor of psychiatry struggles to find a psychological clue in order to prevent a young artist from committing suicide at a precise time and location the artist has planned.
But without altering this plot as written, director Marc Forster has invented an editing style (combined with a rigorous control of transitions and point of view) to create nothing less than a parallel plot to the film, in which the professor must contend with the horror of his own descent into full-blown psychosis.
Since the director conveys this parallel plot entirely through visual means, and within the point of view of the hero of the story, its consequences are all the more disconcerting, and we feel the terror of the realization of losing one's mind more acutely than in any previous screen depiction of madness I have seen.
Much as the young artist's psychotic identity implicitly consumes the identity of his psychiatrist, so does the visual plot consume the overt, written plot of the film, like an unconscious motivation that overcomes a conscious one. By succeeding with such an ambitious design, Forster has invented a new kind of film in which the psychological, in all its frightening depths, finally becomes visible.
Vicious Circles (1997)
A Stylish Thriller
Set in contemporary Paris, Vicious Circles turns Dangerous Liaisons on its head by turning the dissolute obsessions of the rich against them, for the sake of a legitmate obsession with a just cause.
In order to free her brother from a bum rap that could keep him in prison for a very long time, Andrea ("Andy") becomes a slave in a sex ring that provides film maker, Whitelaw, with the perfect setting with which to satirize the international haut bourgeois world of Paris, which he evokes with astute familiarity.
Unlike most erotic thrillers which hypocritically seem to condemn the sexual
exploitation of women at the same time they use it to titillate the viewer, Vicious Circles reveals a heroine who deliberately contrives her own exploitation in
order to bring down those who imagine themselves her masters.