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Tha se do stin Kolasi, agapi mou (1999)

This is the story of Vera, Elsa, a man, and the great love that united them. They started out growing up together but they didn't get very far. Leaving behind a desolate world, full of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Vicky Harris ... Elsa
Valeria Christodoulidou ... Vera
Paschalis Tsarouhas ... Dead Man
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nikos Kordinos ... Security Guard
Panos Vourlamis ... Security Guard
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Storyline

This is the story of Vera, Elsa, a man, and the great love that united them. They started out growing up together but they didn't get very far. Leaving behind a desolate world, full of traps, they will begin a hallucinogenic journey of tenderness and violence. The story of three lovers who in a devious and gruesome manner try to destroy each other, to gain a solitary entrance to Hell. Written by Marni Films

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A necro-romance...

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Crime | Horror | Thriller

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Release Date:

18 April 2003 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

See You in Hell, My Darling  »

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

I Found Love
Performed by Etta James
Written by Wilson Pickett, William Schofield & Robert West
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

Tour-de-force technique with meager, nihilistic results
23 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

I've seen most of the films made by the late Nikos Nikolaidis, and he was clearly a talent, far more advanced in cinematic technique and raw ideas than the lionized superstars of the film world, the Nolans, Tarantinos, etc. But he was simply unable to connect to a general audience, becoming a Poster Child for the hermetic director of entertainments for a sliver of elitists (see: Peter Greenaway, the champ).

It's a shame, as I was spellbound by the first reel or so of SEE YOU IN HELL, MY DARLING, a 1999 Nikos film never released in America and now available strictly on the collectors' circuit. The shock effects of his most famous works SINGAPORE SLING and SWEET BUNCH, both of which got plenty of exposure 20 years back, are present, but a precise, brilliantly surreal visual style means serious film buffs need to see this mature work, even if they come away ultimately unsatisfied as I was.

Essentially, Nikos shoots his wad in the opening reels, overwhelming the viewer with precise, spectacularly inventive compositions and visual motifs that suggest a genius at work. Unfortunately the remaining 80 minutes are repetitious in the extreme, at times almost suggesting a Moebius strip approach (a la Nolan), but heading nowhere.

The bulk of the action is a cat and mouse bondage/torture/sex ride between the two beautiful, barely-clad heroines Vicky Harris and Valeria Christodoulidou (there's a contrast in stage names for you). Harris resembles the great '90s porn star Selena Steele, while her victim, Valeria is a more ethereal, vulnerable beauty.

One of the most striking early (and oft-repeated) images of the film consists of highly erotic tracking shots of Valeria's platform heels slinking along outside or in the lavish villa where all the action takes place. The director repeatedly uses a horizontal slats/Venetian blinds effect to introduce or remove a shot, putting the audience directly in the position of a voyeur, highly appropriate to the sexual antics ongoing.

With Vicky the sadist and Valeria generally the object, the twisted games on view are kinky enough to satisfy any of Nikos' fans. One purposely off-putting device is Valeria constantly puking; we also see her urinating at one point and are never afraid that Nikos has put his bad-boy obscenity and scatology to rest. He knows a good shock effect, but certainly overdoes them via repetition.

The film is set at night, and the swimming pool outside is responsible for some of his most exciting imagery. It is used to set the stage for wavy blue and reflected lighting effects bathing the nearby mansion, and some outstanding underwater photography of horrific content as both women frequently end up in the pool fighting with each other or a floating male corpse. I wasn't caught napping when this turned out to be an elaborate build-up to a terrific (and logical conclusion) final freeze-frame 3-shot in the water.

Throughout the movie Vicky is poised to poison Valeria, and the vomiting is clearly related to this. For me it amounted to too much red herring action, as both of them are repeatedly killed, but resurrected, since we don't know if what we're watching is real or imagined. I'm in the minority camp re: Chris Nolan, as I get quite exasperated at his overly complex toying with similar notions in MEMENTO, INCEPTION and particularly THE PRESTIGE, but Nikos goes way beyond in stretching credibility past the breaking point. It is no wonder that he has such a small following, compared to Nolan who is perhaps the most popular director in the world in the 21st Century (ugh!).

Much of the content of SEE YOU IN HELL is cryptic, whether you understand the Greek dialog or not. But I can't recall watching a more visually striking film in recent years, and was equally impressed with the auteur's razor sharp editing. It is clear he got exactly what he wanted, just unclear how he expected an audience to connect with his strange wavelength.


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