Tuesday 12 February
The Iron Rose
THE IRON ROSE 1973 ** (La rose de fer) ** Directed by Jean Rollin ** 85 minutes ** In French with English subtitles
Imagine a filmmaker in the psychedelic 1970s who suddenly finds himself possessed by an old poetry book by 19th century symbolist Tristan Corbière. Jean Rollin was such an odd director, caught in a time-warp that created a totally bizarre hybrid of cinema - a fusion of trippy psychedelia and decadent poetry. Most of Rollins films are set in the 1970s, but they are relentlessly haunted by the past. Rollin visualized his films through a Gothic horror lens, with submerged sexuality gushing beneath the surface. Vampirism, eroticism and poetry are the key elements to much of Rollin's work. The Iron Rose was Rollin's first non-vampire flick, but all of his hallucinogenic, cryptic, otherworldly, dream-like qualities are amped up here to the max. One critic called it "a melancholy tone poem", another "a surrealist fever dream."
The Iron Rose begins mysteriously, with a couple who we know absolutely nothing about. They are two strangers that have meet at a party, but they seem to be entering a twilight zone... the town they are in is strangely derelict. They eventually wander into in a massive, seemingly endless maze-like graveyard. I don't want to say much more, except that the rest of the film unravels in that cemetery, which becomes another world, full of strange events and surreal encounters. They find themselves in a place where all the laws and norms of society no longer apply, a sort of madness. The lead actress Francoise Pascal even spent time in a mental institution to better understand her role and behavior in this flick.
This film pushes director Jean Rollin's aesthetics to their purest form. All the money he had was sunk into this, his most personal and passionate project... even though he knew he would loose it all. This is an uncompromising, enigmatic film that could only be made in the 1970s... a cinematic treasure chest for anyone who appreciates mystery and imagination.
This will be a high-definition projection.
Date & Time:
- 3-5 €