Frans Zwartjes – Anamnesis (1969)

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Description: A major new talent in international avant-garde cinema, Zwartjes creates hermetic, obsessive, and “decadent” universes, in which desperate, dissociated males and females, though inextricably bound to each other, never “connect”. Here an impassive, Keaton- like figure engages in a sexual, ominous food orgy with voluptuous, half-nude women whom he paws impotently. A mysterious, powerful tension informs the action. Despite non-communication and mutual defilement of the grossest kind, a profoundly humanist statement emerges; compassion for these victims, “partners” in loneliness. Expressionist style, make-up and lighting as well as complex montage heighten the effect of the tragic tableaux, in which tortured non-heroes operate impotently in hostile space, facing us blindly, nakedly, with all defenses down; compelling us, perhaps, to confront ourselves in like manner.

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