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Author Topic: Narcissus and Psyche {1980}  (Read 1432 times)

Offline woodenheart

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Narcissus and Psyche {1980}
« on: June 05, 2016, 04:19:03 PM »
Narcisus and Psyche is based on a novel by Sandor Weores which was adapted by Vilmos Csaplar and director Gabor Body for a feature-length, 140-minute film. Borrowing the character of Psyche from mythology and placing her in Europe in the 19th century, the authors give her a "modern" life. She is an attractive young woman - and remains so throughout the film, in spite of one hardship after another. Psyche is libidinous, and her prurient interests shock her staid contemporaries. For reasons that the viewer is left to ponder, her life is almost a living punishment for her sexual laxity. Her child is taken away and killed, and although she is in love with her tutor, who has syphilis, she marries another man. She is suffering herself from some affliction, which leads to hospital scenes that are acerbic commentaries on 19th c. Western medicine. Psyche is about to leave for America with her husband, when the story takes another abrupt turn.
- Written by Eleanor Mannikka

Director: Gábor Bódy

NARCISSUS AND PSYCHE (Nárcisz és Psyché) is an epic, psychedelic masterpiece created by Hungarian film-making auteur Gabor Body and based on Sándor Weöres's poetic work Psyché. Little known because when Body died in mysterious circumstances in 1985 his profile dipped and his work seemingly disappeared from view, certainly for those whose language skills do not include a mastery of Hungarian. A terrible shame because this film is best imagined as War and Peace directed by Fellini or possibly Has and is, in fact, quite as good as that sounds.
The film exists in three versions; the original two part version, a sadly truncated version that was created for export and, finally, a huge (over four hour) extended version - which presumably came closest to Body's vision - designed to be broadcast in three parts on Hungarian national television and which has never been officially subtitled for the English speaking world and thus remains lost to all but the most obsessive of film fans. (Now the English subtitled version exists).
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