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Malpertuis
Malpertuis
Actors: Orson Welles, Susan Hampshire, Michel Bouquet, Mathieu Carrière
Director: Harry Kümel
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
UR     2007     1hr 59min

As a weary sailor named Jan (Matthieu Carrière) sets foot on dry land, he is mysteriously abducted and awakens in the isolated mansion of Malpertuis. There, he is reunited with his sister Nancy (Susan Hampshire) and a...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Orson Welles, Susan Hampshire, Michel Bouquet, Mathieu Carrière
Director: Harry Kümel
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Barrel
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/24/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/1972
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1972
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 59min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Dutch, English

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Movie Reviews

"Life, what is it but a dream?" - Lewis Carroll
Mike Liddell | Massachusetts | 07/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The directors cut
Amazon provides a thorough plot explanation so i won't go over it again, however what exactly is Malpertuis? In Film Comment's July/August 2007 issue it earns there Editor's pick of the month, Gavin Smith says to try to "imagine a hammer movie co-directed by Jean Cocteau and Raul Ruise and your getting warm.
Malpertuis is a haunted house movie filled with dreamlike horror, one of the best, weirdest, and creative I have ever seen. As we see lanterns being put out by some sort of creatures lurking in the dark, we don't see them just hear there childlike evil snickering. What is in the attic and what experiments have taken place in the basement? The movie is filled with eroticism most of which is attributed by Susan Hampshire who plays three roles a virginal sister, Medusan cousin, and a sexually devouring aunt all equally sensual and sexual. Throw in some drama and even science fiction and you have something for everyone. In the 15 page booklet included with the dvd it spots H.P Lovecraft as an influence for writer Jean Ray who wrote the novel Malpertuis.
The story starts with an illustration of Alice in Wonderland and from there we as viewers are taken for a trip through a rabbit hole ourselves.
The scene where Orson Welles who plays the patriarch of this curious clan tosses out witty insults to them from his death bed degrading every member of his family, who await his death with glee is a classic.
Orson Welles character Cassavius has alot in common with Citizen Kane. Both will die alone, even though Cassavius has family there he is still alone. That is not a plot spoiler he dies somewhat fast and i believe it is in the amazon review as well. Welle's Citizen Kane Character liked to surround himself with rare and valuable pieces of art, Cassavius also likes to surround himself with rare treasure the question is what, we find that out in a shocking ending Film Comment magazine editor Gavin Smith refers to as "one of cinema's most flabbergasting never-saw-it coming denouements of all time

DVD
Includes a 15 page information packed booklet on the movie.

The dvd receives a criterion like treatment
Disc 1
-Malpertuis: Director's cut w/ new high definition transfer (looked great)
(1973: 119 minutes) Dutch language with removable English subtitles
-Audio commentary from director Harry Kumel
-Orson Welles uncut. A 25 minute featurette containing rare outakes fottage of Welles during the filming of Malpertuis
-Susan Hampshire: One actrss, Thre parts. An 11 minute featurette new interviews with Hampshire

Disc 2
-Malpertuis: Cannes Version (1972 100mins)
-Reflections of Darkness: Del Valle on Kumel. a new 74 minute career length interview with director Kumel by noted film journalist David Del Valle.
-Jan Ray/ John Flanders. a 7 minute featurette that delves into the fantastical world of the Belgian writer including archival interview footage.
-Trailer
-Plus liner notes from film historians David Del Valle and Ernest Mathijs

Here is the poem referred to in the movie by Lewis Carroll i found it interesting after watching the movie.
LIFE IS BUT A DREAM

by: Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

BOAT, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July--

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear--

Long has paled that sunny sky;
Echoes fade and memories die;
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die;

Ever drifting down the stream--
Lingering in the golden gleam--
Life, what is it but a dream?

"
Finally !
Martin Montag | INTERZONE | 05/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My only previous viewing, of this incredible film has been a very poor quality video tape, released by MPV, Motion Pictures on Video in 1987 and running ninety minutes. Having read about this work in an encyclopedia of Horror cinema, nothing could have prepared me for this intense, captivating vision which induced feelings of great humbleness, childlike wonderment and joy in this adult viewer. Film as art, beautiful, haunting, arresting the senses like little else.
I urge anyone who loves film to support Barrel Entertainment and purchase this incredible 2 disc package, for more information take a look at Barrel's website.
10/10"
Think Bava meets Pasolini...
A. Salas | Brooklyn, New York United States | 04/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This gorgeous art-house shocker is a winner, but I'm one of the few who prefer the 1971 theatrical cut to the 2002 directors cut. (Thankfully, both are included here.)Why, you may ask? Didn't the director restore all the missing footage and present the film as intended to be seen? Well, sort of. He also REMOVED certain shots and dialogue that were in the original, mostly the more campy, fantastical bits. This is similar to what happened when Picnic At Hanging Rock was restored - the director took a look and said, "Whoops! Kitsch!!! Cut it!" Now, however embarrassed you may be about past work, why edit a restored version and present it shorter, or at least incomplete?
Sylvie Vartan's song and dance number in the club Venus is butchered here, intercut with dialogue.
A lot of the new version's editing and fades seem a bit abrupt and unpolished, why not bring in the best in editing for such a prestigious project?
Another peeve, why present the "uncut" restored director's cut in DUTCH, when it was shot in English sync-sound? We are even shown behind the scenes footage of the cast doing their scenes in English, which makes it weirder.
Well, at any rate, the director's cut looks gorgeous, much better than the theatrical version on disc 2, sadly. I do agree with the new, more slower pacing... and the added scenes all work brillantly. If only they had just added them in English and not messed with the rest of the film.

"