Originally a 55 minute film for the BBC released in 1992, Alex Cox had hoped to expand it into a full length feature film but the BBC was not interested. However in 1993, Japanese investors gave Alex $100,000 to shoot the film but the film went over budget allowing no funds for production. Alex decided to make The Winner (1996) in order to get funds which worked and he was able to complete Death and The Compass in 1996. See more »
Let's just say I'm looking for a more rabbinical explanation.
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This film was originally made in 1992 in a 50 minute version, which was shown on BBC TV and also Spanish television. Director Alex Cox wanted to expand the film to feature length but did not have sufficient financing at the time, and a few years passed before he could afford to shoot the extra material required. The newer footage consists mainly of extended monologues to camera by an older, embittered version of the character of Treviranus, and a flashback sequence showing the robbery of the Used Money Depository by Red Scharlach's gang. Of the lead actors, only Miguel Sandoval was available to reprise his original role, so his screen time is greatly extended in the feature-length version. The character of Red Scharlach is included in the robbery scene, but remains masked and silent so that the actor in question did not have to appear. See more »
This wilfully bizarre adaptation of Borges short story is typical Cox. His strong visual sense is, as usual, undone by the appalling half baked acting of most of the cast. The film is definitely in the surreal tradition of Bunuel's Mexican period, and looks at times like a poor man's take on Lars Von Trier's Elements of Crime. Cox's apparent preference for single takes, jump cuts, and ambient sound recording all work against the film's effectiveness. Worth a look but ultimately disappointing.
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