A young woman (the noted pornographic actress Ovidie) dives into a very curious journey through the fictional universe of a deceased film director who she’s been led to believe is her cousin. Visiting the locations the demarcated the imagination of the filmmaker, she encounters the strange characters who inhabit his filmography. These people exhibit unsettling behaviour and engage in mysterious rituals that carry terrible menace for the woman. Her voyage beyond the gates of the unknown may well prove fatal.
The Fantasia Festival is extremely proud to present the latest opus from one of the great icons of European fantastic cinema. Over the years, France’s Jean Rollin has danced between cinema and literature, to give birth to a fascinating and unclassifiable body of work. The perseverance of this indefatigable artist stands as an example to follow, as he has always confronted difficult working conditions and miserable budgets in order to bring to life works that are faithful to his vision. Rollin’s efforts have borne fruit, given that a number of his films –- The Naked Vampire, Rose of Iron and, more recently, 2002’s La fiancée de Dracula -– have become classics in the eyes of fanatics of marginal cinema.
Rollin returns in fine form with La nuit des horloges, his most personal work to date. His heroine’s quest allows Rollin to explore his thematic fetishes –- death, eroticism, vampires and magic -– and moreover serves as a unique pretext for reexamining his career. In a nostalgic manner, he weaves this story together with excerpts from his older films, and draws on the talents of actors with whom he has worked in the past. In a fashion similar to that of Orson Welles’ Filming Othello, La nuit des horloges becomes a letter from Rollin to his many admirers, in which he expounds on his passions and art. In fact, he goes beyond self-exploration and casts a melancholy eye over a period in European cinema now lost to the ages. Here’s hoping that this superb testament of a film will guarantee Rollin’s place amid the pantheon of the greats of fantastic film.
—Simon Laperričre (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)
WORLD PREMIERE hosted by director JEAN ROLLIN
Director: Jean Rollin
Screenplay: Jean Rolin
Producers: Les Films ABC
Distributor: Les Films ABC