Possession (1981)

Australian Umbrella 2023 4K UHD + Blu-ray 2 disc - Numbered Slipcase 1208 / 2500



Nee-na, nee-na, nee-na

The Child, Bob, knows what's awaiting and hides in the bathtub. Der Untergang.
The Apocalypse. Ragnarök is here. Hysteria and confusion in the shadow of the
Berlin Wall.

This artmovie horror drama with it's unique elements of the oppressive closeness
to the Wall, the brave acting of Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani, the soundtrack by
Andrzej Korzynski, the bleak colors from cinematographer Bruno Nuytten and
the direction and script by Andrzej Zulawski makes it one of the most fascinating
films ever made.

Zulawski has told that the film at it's premiere in Cannes 1981 was met by boos
from a half of the audience and with ovations from the other half, so a film that
divides. He also said that it took 25 years before "Possession" gained some
respect, some acclaim.
I don't know about that really as as I remember, among the cult film lovers and
the psychotronic crowd, the film was much talked about already in the 1980's
and an immediate cult classic. I had a Dutch uncut VHS copy of it from 1988 -
1989 or thereabout and I remember showing it to my friends.
Then a decade later and some I watched "Possession" again, in another media,
the Anchor Bay DVD edition (see pic below)

Above: The US Anchor Bay double feature DVD with Mario Bava's Shock

The Story: Mark (New Zealand actor Sam Neill) returns to his and his wife's
Berlin apartment after work for some secret Agency (for DDR, CIA or West
Germany, i never figured out). He has a nervous breakdown after finding out
that Anna (Isabelle Adjani) has a Lover. He's in the marriage from Hell and
when they occasionally meet they quarrel, scream and fight and Anna gets
into a state of total hysteria.

Where does Anna go and who's her lover, is it Heinrich (Heinz Bennent)
or is it something else ? Mark still loves her and he won't give her up
without a fight, or at least without trying to grab what has happened ?
He meets the karate kicking New ager Heinrich but he doesn't know where
Anna is. A private detective says that Anna hides in a dilapidated
apartment in the Kreutzberg area of Berlin, and that she's not alone ....

With a film of this dignity, quite possibly the best film ever made, I can't
write a good enough review as my english is too limited and i'm too
stupid. It's the work for a film critic and cineast and luckily "Possession"
seems to be a favourite film for many. Look up IMDB.

This fantastic film resembles no other, and if so it's because that film
tries to resemble "Possession". The film has an interesting Double
Doppelganger theme with sweet greeneyed teacher Anna and the
creature Mark as the number 2's. In my eyes the ending of this film is
one of the most suggestive in film history and unforgettable.
How does one decipher it ? Is Mark No. 2 upsetting the Harmony of
the World, Die Harmonie der Welt and causing the Apocalypse ?
Is he Antimatter ? Does the Man with the pink socks know ?

Isabelle Adjani gives a spectacular performance with perhaps the
highlight being her miscarriage scene in "Platz der Lüftbrucke subway
station" and for her tour de force performance of stylized hysteria
in "Possession" she was awarded the Best actress prize in Cannes 1981.
In 2023 I visited Berlin and that subway station without knowing
this scene was shot there ... arrrgh.

With the UK 2013 Second Sight Bluray edition i rewatched the film
yet again, and now on a third type of media, Blu-ray.
The film had remained it's Power and it was nice to get to see the
Creature made by Carlo Rambaldi a bit more clear this time.
Extras the same as in the 2023 Umbrella 4K UHD Bluray edition

Above: the UK Second Sight 2013 Blu-ray edition

In 2024 i rewatched "Possession" in a 4th media, 4K UHD, and
it looked better yet again. VHS, DVD, Blu-ray and now 4K.

The film is presented in a 1.66:1 ratio and with DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono
english audio with english subtitles. region all for the 4K disc (for
the bluray disc i don't know).

Extras Umbrella Entertainment 4K UHD edition:

Audio commentary with Andrzej Zulawski and Daniel Byrd, Audio
commentary with co-writer Frederic Tuten, New Audio commentary
with Film historian Sally Christie.
Failure of Language: Video essay by Alexandra Heller- Nicholas
(10 minutes, 2023),
The Other Side of The Wall- The Making of Possession (52 minutes
2009-2012, directed by Daniel Bird),
Interview with Andrzej Zulawski (36 minutes, frebch with subs, 2009),
US Cut of Possession
Repossessed: Featurette on the US cut of Possession (12 minutes),
A Divided City - The Locations of Possessions (7 minutes),
The Sounds of Possession: Interview with composer Andrzej
Korzynski (19 minutes),
Our Friend in the West: Interview with producer Christian Ferry
(6 minutes), Basha: Poster analysis featurette (6 minutes),
International theatrical trailer, US theatrical trailer


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