Friday, October 19, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 19 - Movie

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) is the story of a young girl whose sexual awakening happens to coincide with the arrival of a troupe of actors and a group of missionaries to her village. Also arriving are Orlik, who may, or may not be her brother, and the mysterious Constable, who is determined to obtain Valerie's earrings. The Constable is also a vampire, who was once the lover of Valerie's aunt, Elsa. He promises to make Elsa young again if she will give him the house Valerie is to inherit. This pact also turns Elsa into a vampire. The use of magic objects protects some of the characters and dooms others.

Obtusely told, this fairy tale unfolds like someone else's dream, filmed in soft light which gives it a hazy uncertain feel at some moments, and appears like a soft core pornographic film in others. It's hypnotizing to watch, and there are some arresting visuals. Jaroslav Schallerova is captivating to watch, though the way the camera lingers over her often creates an uneasy sensual feeling.

This would make a good companion piece to a viewing of Viy (1967) or The Company of Wolves (1984).

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