The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, August 3-9

NYC repertory cinema picks-fascination-rollin

Fascination (1979)
Directed by Jean Rollin
Although perhaps not the most adroit practitioner of the art of blending the norms of exploitative erotica and Euro-arthouse, Rollin is certainly the most obvious, wearing his intentions on his lurid sleeve. His voyeurism manifests itself in Fascination through an embodied camera (more reminiscent of Żuławski and German than Bava) that lends his blocking an unsettling quality, relaying the feeling that the predatory Victorian lady-vampires(?) are exactly as mysterious as they present themselves. The uneven melding of violence and sensuous, borderline-softcore sexuality yields some interesting, if dubious psychology. Nonetheless, Fascination is one of the more successful genre attempts at inducing a sexually horrific dream state, never fully belonging to its historical setting, but never fully giving itself over to fantasy either; it exists in the interstices, where ravaging mysteries are allowed to unfold. Eric Barroso (August 5, 6, midnight at the Nitehawk)

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