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Customer Review

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Morgiana, is the cat?, 16 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Morgiana [DVD] (DVD)
Well, on the face of it, 'Morgiana' has got a lot going for it. The director of 'The Cremator' at the helm, music by Lubos Fiser, composer of the luscious 'Valerie, and her week of wonders' score, and experimental cinematography by Jaroslav Kucera, who shot Vera Chytilova's 'Daisies' all contribute to this phantasmagorical offering. There's also a slightly underwhelming part for the actor Petr Cepek recently seen to powerful affect in the excellent 'Adelheid' and 'Valley of the Bees'.

The film is a gothic confection, elegantly staged, visually rich and often bathed in a golden hue that reminded me of 'Valerie, and her week of wonders', perhaps nudged by the presence of the Fiser score. It also sports some of the most appalling wigs in film history. I also found myself reminded of some of the more surreal and kinky colour episodes of 'The Avengers' with Mrs Peel.

Some of the night-time and interior scenes don't fair too well in this transfer, at least on my set-up, appearing rather grey and lacking in detail. There are some loud clicks on the sound track, too. I've become very interested in the re-recording of dialogue in the recent collection of Czech films released by the excellent Second Run. They seem to employ some strange techniques in the sound department, particularly the use of reverb or echo on the voices where it doesn't have any right to be.

I noticed in this film the almost complete lack of foley sound, that is the ambient sounds of the activities we can see in the shot, such as the sound of a cup put down on a table or the door opening or any other atmospheric noise. The lack of such sounds gives this film a strange disembodied quality and coupled with the use of a wide angle lens in almost every shot, which distorts perspective and form, results in a delirious and hallucinogenic experience. There are some wonderfully sumptuous sequences and experimental flourishes by Kucera.

Interestingly, the director himself sums up my feelings about the film on the accompanying interview. In it he explains how, under the soviet system, a director had to accept that their work by necessity, was going to be compromised and that in this case, although he was originally interested by the elements of personality disorder in the narrative, in the end it was an opportunity to work, but the film he didn't take too seriously.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Jun 2013 19:07:36 BDT
"a director had to accept that their work by necessity, was going to be compromised"
That's doesn't sound a whole lot different from the current Hollywood studio system.
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