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43 years after its release, this traumatic film with the greatest acting performance returns to the big screen

43 years after its release, this traumatic film with the greatest acting performance returns to the big screen

43 years after its release, this traumatic film with the greatest acting performance returns to the big screen


Possession : a cult film with Isabelle Adjani at the top

We can talk about a great acting performance without mentioning that of‘Isabelle Adjani inside Possession (nineteen eighty-one) by Andrej Zulawski? Certainly not. The actress (perhaps the best French) is breathtaking. It’s impossible to forget her unusual performance in this amazing film in more ways than one. Also, her performance helped a lot Possession I earn cult film status. And today he is considered one of the best of all time.

The influence of the feature film is still felt today. Arkasha Stevenson, the director of The curse: the origin, told us, for example, about this alleged reference in his film, and about his (successful) attempt to pay homage to Isabelle Adjani. Through her interpretation, the actress marked the filmmaker, especially duringa crazy sequence in the subway (see video below).

When I saw this scene for the first time, I sobbed. I had never seen anything like it. I had never seen a woman like that on screen.

As a reminder, Possession begins when Marc returns from a trip and finds his wife Anna and their son in Berlin. Only, his wife has changed and is no longer able to show him the slightest affection. The couple is gradually separating and Anna will show herself increasingly violent. She eventually decides to leave their home and she goes to live alone in an almost empty building. But she becomes increasingly strange, even dangerous, just like Marc, paranoid and ready to hire a private investigator to spy on his wife.

A traumatic film for the actress

The readings that can be obtained Possession they are numerous. But above all it emerges a criticism of communism and totalitarianism in this Berlin of the early eighties, at the foot of the Wall. Or how the climate of the time translates into paranoia, madness, the violence and hysteria of the characters. The addition of fantastic elements (a sexual creature and lookalikes of the protagonists) also refers to this company’s ability to do so generate monstersand help to destabilize the viewer.

Isabelle Adjani - Possession ©Tamasa Distribution
Isabelle Adjani – Possession ©Tamasa Distribution

Finally, we must also underline the monstrous performance of Isabelle Adjani which earned her the award for best actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981, and a César for best actress in 1982. However, the actress did not have a good memory of this experience. In 2018, she said she did Inrockuptibles :

I was very aware of the perversity that was at play. At the same time it disgusted me and at the same time I was acting submissive in the cave, walking in the long tunnel that led to what was supposed to be the movie.

Years earlier, in 2002, she too had expressed her discomfort Studio magazinesaying that filming Possession had cost him a lot.

I owe it to the mystique of Andrzej Żuławski for revealing things to me that I never wanted to discover… Possession was a undoable film, and what I did in that film was equally undoable. However, I made it and what happened in this film cost me a lot… Despite all the awards, all the honors that have come my way, never again will such a trauma occur, not even… in a nightmare!

Possession to be seen again at the Champs-Élysées Film Festival

Already in 2021 the film was released in French cinemas. If you missed it at that moment, or simply want to (re)discover this fascinating work on the big screen, this will be possible thanks to the Champs-Élysées Film Festival. Organizers revealed the official selections for the French film and American independent feature competitions in a press release. But also a thematic section dedicated to “Slayers”. 4 short films and 8 feature films make up this section presented as “a celebration of powerful female characters through cult and timeless films”. Among these films we find Chromosome III (1979) by David Cronenberg, The predators by Tony Scott (1983) and therefore Possession by Andrej Zulawski.

This 13th edition of the Champs-Élysées Film Festival will take place from 18 to 25 June in different rooms of the famous Parisian avenue. At the Publicis Cinémas, at the Balzac, at the Lincoln, at the Club de l’étoile and at the Mac-Mahon cinema. The screening dates of Possession they have not yet been announced. You can go to the festival website for more information.

Source: Cine Serie

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