During the Prussian army's invasion to Poland in 1793, a young Polish nobleman Jakub is saved from the imprisonment by a stranger who wants in return to obtain a list of Jakub's fellow ... See full summary »
An unexperienced young actress is invited to play a role in a film based on Dostoyevsky's 'The Possessed'. The film director, a Czech immigrant in Paris, takes over her life, and in a short... See full summary »
During a secretive business trip away, Mark learns that his wife Anna is growing restless in what he believed was their happy marriage. Upon his return home, he learns from her that she wants a divorce. They both go through a series of different emotions related to their situation, Mark's which is generally obsessive about learning why Anna, who he still loves, wants the divorce, and Anna's which is generally increasingly histrionic in getting away from Mark. Caught in the middle is their infant son Bob, who Mark uses as a gage to Anna's mental state. Anna states that her want for the divorce is not because of another man, but Mark finds out that Anna has a lover named Heinrich. In the meantime, Mark also meets Bob's teacher Helen, who looks exactly like Anna, but is her polar opposite in temperament. Starting a relationship with Helen lessens his obsession with Anna. But as Mark and Anna's encounters together reach more emotional and violent levels, Mark, with help of a private ...Written by
Isabelle Adjani told a French magazine that it took her several years to get over playing Anna. She also said that she'd never take on a similar role. See more »
In the kitchen scene where Anna cuts herself with an electric knife, Mark picks it up and starts slicing his left arm multiple times. The next day, he is in the kitchen again with his sleeves rolled up, but there are no cuts on his arm. Given the surreal nature of this film, this could have been planned. The camera focuses on the supposedly sliced arm. One can only speculate what message was intended, if in fact the "gaff" was intentional. See more »
Don't make me force you.
I'll throw myself out the window!
You need it that much?
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The shortest version of Possession runs 80 minutes and was cuts in nearly every scene with a number of scenes being completely deleted, especially near the end. Several scenes were also moved to another location. Anna's ballet lesson and Mark's report to his superiors were used as a pre-credits sequence. Anna's miscarriage in the subway tunnel appeared before Mark visited Heinrich and Mark's first encounter with Helen appeared after he sat on the bed by Margit. The film's climax was rendered incomprehensible by the heavy use of filters and editing. The film also featured a new soundtrack, composed by Art Philips (III), playing up the horror aspect of the film featuring a children's choir rendition of "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and other themes featuring distorted voices and synths. See more »
Acting, colour, camera movement and story thrown into hyperactivity What do you get? Well, the headache inducing, enthralling Possession. Beautiful, erotic and extremely disturbing, Andrjez Zulawski's film (admired by the Italian Master of the Macabre himself, Dario Argento) is an extreme assault upon the senses.
Mark (played excellently and deliberately over-the-top by Sam Neil) returns home from secret government work to his wife in Berlin, cue many shots of the Berlin wall representing the couple's marital breakdown. However, Mark's wife, Anna (a truly unforgettable, no holds barred and hypnotic performance from the lovely Isabelle Adjani) is behaving inexcusably strangely. Mark finds out that she is having an affair with Heinrick (another crazy performance from Heinz Bennet) and confronts him only to find that the lover has not seen Anna for some time. This is the part of the rollercoaster ride before your cart
plummets into some real thought-provoking, unsettling and scary surrealism.
Possession is definitely the film that requires many subsequent viewings. Excellent performances that frequently go way OTT, dreamily fluid camerawork and migraine inducing metaphorical horror, this is a true beast of the imagination. Love it or hate it, it is a true original masterpiece that is definitely not for all tastes. If films were placed in boxes and divided by flavours, like crisps, POSSESSION would sit in a box entirely by its self, awaiting only those who can take it. Go into it with an open mind like you've never gone into a film with one before. It can seriously mentally damage you if you try and figure it all out on that initial viewing, so beware; if there is truly anything to work out. The now infamous miscarriage in the subway scene is confusing, painful and sickening to watch and nothing like it can be found elsewhere. This is a hell of a film, if you're prepared for it!
`This for me exceeds anything thrown up by The Exorcist for sheer impact on the nervous system.' David Thompson - Sight and Sound
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