4 Comments

  1. A very cogent analysis of a genuinely one-of-a-kind movie. According to what I’ve read, it started off as a dream/nightmare of Parker’s secretary, Adrienne Barrett; she told him about it the next morning; he thought it’d be fun to make an experimental short out of it, and she agreed to play the central role; the rest is history.

    The soundtrack also contains, by the way, some non-verbal vocalizations; believe it or not, these were done by the redoubtable Marni Nixon!

    What’s always puzzled me is how such a low-budget, amateur (even if not amateurish) production could get itself a George Antheil soundtrack.

  2. Allan: Great to see you posting here in these hallowed halls of film noir! Well, it is a fact that my exposure to this particular film has been restricted to that celebrated movie house sequence in THE BLOB. And for some reason I always confuse the name of this film and Francis Ford Coppola’s first film, an eerie and atmospheric excursion into horror titled DEMENTIA 13. The expressionistic look of the film that you vouch for and the comparison with Weine’s CABINET make it a most intriguing work to check out. I echo John Grant’s observation of Antheil, whose other music has ravished me in various degrees.

    But really a fantastic review here Allan.

  3. @realthog, That story about the secretary wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. This movie is probably shrouded in all kinds of wacky stories. If I had the time I’d love to investigate it more as I’m sure you could right a small book on this film alone, or perhaps even a movie, in the same vain Ed Wood. I’m glad you liked my piece, thanks for the feedback.

  4. @ Sam. I very pleased you like my work as I’m a big fan of Wonders in The Dark. It’s almost a shame that you had to read my article before watching Dementia, as it’s that element of surprise when you watch first Dementia without knowing anything about it in advance (as was the case with me), that really catches you off-guard and makes you want to know about this little gem.
    I mention Caligari, but I’m sure if I delved a little deeper into Dementia’s background, I could make the French Impressionism angle stick a little more. But perhaps we’ll resume that conversation once you’ve had a chance to view Dementia yourself.
    I’ve seen only snippets of Dementia 13. I didn’t even know it was by Coppola! So there you go, here’s where we come to learn new things.

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