Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Movies: A Double Life and The Seventh Victim

What a dreadful pair of weird, bleak movies. In A Double Life, a famous stage actor becomes obsessed with his Othello role and not only almost kills his ex-wife/current lover/co-star on stage mid-performance, but he then goes into a trance and actually does kill (with a strangulating "kiss of death") a blonde floozy who waited on him once at an Italian restaurant, in her bed, in the middle of the night. When he realizes, again mid-performance, that he's been found out, he kills himself on stage, rather than merely pretending to do so.

In The Seventh Victim, a teenage orphan finds out from her boarding school's headmistress that her older sister has failed to pay her tuition for the past sixth months, and has gone missing. The girl heads to New York to unravel the mystery of her sister's disappearance, discovering a variety of nasty surprises: sis had sold her cosmetics business to the older, lesbianic plant manager, had secretly married her lawyer (with whom our heroine will soon be having a love affair), and had rented a room in which she had hung a noose (which she hasn't (yet!) used). The nastiest secret yet? Her sister has joined a cult of devil worshipers who want to kill her as punishment for having spoken about the cult to her therapist. When we finally see this sister, we can't help but think of Emily the Strange; she is the proto-goth, with jet black bangs, snow white skin, and a blank and childish expression. After a frightening chase scene in the middle of the night, she does indeed kill herself: we see her go into the rented noose room and close the door, and then we hear the sound of the chair toppling to the ground as she kicks it over. Then the screen goes black and reads "The End." My jaw literally dropped, and hung there awhile as I looked at my grinning movie-going partner (he liked it better than I did).

After this, I decided to take some time off from the festival.

No comments: