In New York, the money-driven dealer Dean Corso is a rare-books expert and partner of Bernie, who owns a bookstore. He is contacted by the renowned collector of books about the devil Boris Balkan, who has just acquired the rare The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows from the collector Andrew Telfer, to verify whether his book is authentic or a forgery. Balkan explains that the book was written by the writer Aristide Torchia, in 1666, with Lucifer and he was burned at the stake with his entire work. There are only three exemplars of The Nine Gates and in accordance with the legend, its nine engravings form a riddle to conjure the devil. The skeptical Corso accepts the assignment and has to fly to Sintra, Portugal, and Paris, France, to contact the owners Victor Fargas and Baroness Kessler and find the genuine exemplar for Balkan. Meanwhile, he asks Bernie to hide the rare book. Before traveling to Europe, the widow Liana Telfer wants to retrieve the book and has sex with Corso, but ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Sintra railway station depicted is very romantic but makes no resemblance to the real one. In fact, it is Toledo railway station, built in 1919. See more »
It's an impressive collection. You have some very rare editions here. Are you sure you want to sell them all?
Old Man's Son:
They're of no use to father. Not anymore. Not since he's been this way. His library was his whole world. Now it's just a painful memory.
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I think this movie was very fabulous. I was fortunate enough to see without any kind of idea about movie beforehand. Didn't see the move from beginning or whole, basically just stayed watching after wandering front of TV. Had no idea what movie was about.
Why this movie is fabulous is because it ambiguous. Reading many comments here, I got bit better insight what movie was about. I admit also missing few things, but fortunately got most parts right in first try.Movie has good mix of ominous events and old mysteries hidden in books that leave you wonder for a while.
But I'm not totally convinced about the accuracy of many interpretations what I've read . What I do think is that Polankski made a movie, that actually imitated how mysteries work.
He creates patterns us to see in interpret, but actually leaves us to figure out on ourselves what they mean. What they mean to us actually, not necessarily what he meant, if he even meant anything at all with them. Some patters lead to something, others to many things as they are vague or nowhere. Devilish stuff - or just normal mysteries worldwide.
How movie ends is exactly like that.
Most interesting question I find after watching movie was the idea of Devil in the movie. I actually didn't get the notion Devil was most evil person in the movie.Way Boris acted later on the movie when he address cultist, I think sort of crystallized what the movie was about.Devil can't make you do anything evil, if you don't want to. And then you probable would do it anyway without Devil. So why worship something for it, if target is anyway selfish not caring about you and you do what you do anyway? And why would Devil care about then do you worship him or not?
I think that was the main joke in the movie. Corso in the movie differs rest of characters in way the he doesn't actually believe in Devil. He is just motivated by self interest and probable by intrigue. Thats why he is main character and sort of picked above other persons in the movie. That also means he also actually has something to offer for Devil, as his self interest connects to Devils. So Devil is rational in this movie besides Corso, others are more or less loose cannons that actually have nothing worthwhile to offer. Lesson here: rational people are motivated by self interest.
So why does no one ask in the movie why the books were created in the first place? Its interesting though to believe somebody would create people something wonderful just to grasp, but why would anyone, especially Devil, do it without some use for himself? Devil wouldn't, but most people after books never stop and think about it. And thats how many cultists think, they aren't rational in their beliefs. Part of the movie actually shows how funny cultist are, even the Devil they worship can be seen amused by them.
In this movie, Devil looks far more person that really doesn't care about something unless it really benefits him/her.
But like I said, you can get other interpretations from it, just my 5 cents.
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