A war veteran gets work at a mental institution, where he meets the beautiful but eccentric Lilith.A war veteran gets work at a mental institution, where he meets the beautiful but eccentric Lilith.A war veteran gets work at a mental institution, where he meets the beautiful but eccentric Lilith.
Could insanity be so simple a thing as unhappiness?
This is one of those films that managed to leave an enduring impression on me and I've seen it quite a few times since finding it quite by chance. It reminds me of that other great unknown the Ninth Configuration. It tells the story of a troubled ex soldier who goes to work at an asylum and quite unexpectedly loses himself in the world of one of the patients - Lilith. Jean Seberg is quite simply out of this world, her every gaze and expression drawing you the viewer in. It's easy to see how both Vincent and another patient Stephen, an introverted young man, are irresistibly attracted to her visions of ecstatic escapism from the unhappy 'real' world outside. Unlike what it says the back of the case, which rather glorifies the trouble she causes and implies a scheming manipulator of men's emotions this is essentially a poetic tale (of course that doesn't sell!). Instead I was left feeling the problems were all caused by others' reaction to her and the neurosis locked up in all of us that she has a talent for bringing out, and healing if they'd but let go of their insecurities. As a man, it left me struggling with both Vincent and Stephens actions as I can see a part of me in both of them. It also left me wishing I was in the story and how I'd do things differently from them. That's the powerful effect of this film. Also worth noting is the connection, never explicitly stated, with the legends of Lilith and the fall of Adam. In this sense you get to hear her side of the story.. quite remarkable
- Mar 29, 2008
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