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THE SHOUT

Director: JERZY SKOLIMOWSKI

86 minutes| U.K.| 1978| Colour| Dolby Stereo| 35mm


Danger is in the air at an English cricket match taking place on the grounds of a mental asylum, for one of the scorers is a patient (Alan Bates) with the power to kill people with his shout. Based on a Robert Graves story and a prize-winner at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival, The Shout has similarities with Skolimowski’s screenplay for Roman Polanski’s Knife in the Water, where the intrusion of an outsider (Bates) exposes fissures in the marriage of a young couple – here a composer of electronic music (John Hurt) and his wife (the late lamented Susannah York at her most sensual). Skolimowski himself said the appeal of the material for him was principally the technical challenge of producing the terrifying shout, but the film’s ultimate power resides more in its observation of the shifting borderlines between body and soul, truth and falsehood, normality and madness. With a terrific supporting cast (Robert Stephens, Tim Curry, Jim Broadbent), this is enigmatic, enthralling cinema.

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