Weirdly Worldly Wednesday Part 1: Possession (France/Germany - 1981)


The first Weirdly Worldly Wednesday will commence with the wonderfully weird French / German film from 1981 POSSESSION.

Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Starring: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neil
Country: France/Western Germany

The Plot:

A young woman leaves her family for an unspecified reason. Her husband, in a deep state of curiosity, begins an investigation to find the truth of her departure and begins following her. Firstly thinking an affair is to blame, he gradually uncovers a series of strange behaviors and bizarre incidents that indicate something more than just a possessed love affair. (IMDb)

Get out your best wine, because is about to get worldly. 80s style.

Get out your best wine, because is about to get worldly. 80s style.

Leave it to a movie called "Possession" to contain the greatest possession scene ever!

Cultural Lessons:

  1. Isabelle Adjani is amazing and should have won an Oscar
    • Although not nominated for any Oscars, the film did receive some accolades, including Adjani taking the best actress award at Cannes. It might be surprising, because the film does an excellent job at isolating itself from mainstream audiences and is certainly as far away from "award-bating" as you can get. However, when you watch the movie, it's difficult not to be completely captivated by the haunting portrayal Adjani delivers.

  2. Monsters fit perfectly well with the avant-garde
    • It might be thought that, in a decade containing a whole lot of cheese (in the form of monsters), that monsters must necessarily be accompanied with cheese. This assumption, however, is unquestionably refuted with POSSESSION. Indeed, Possession's utilization of creature effects actually supplements the atmosphere and narrative perfectly. Erotic monster scenes might seem incompatible with the "art film" at first glance, but it's clearly a false notion, as is evident by the wonderful otherworldliness found in the monstrous imagery in Possession.

  3. Subways are ideal locations for possessions
    • It seems that a lot of people are ambivalent when watching Possession (or at least, this is the feedback I've gotten). Though, one scene which seems to spark universal agreement (in terms of quality) is the subway possession scene. It is, in my view, the most memorable scene in the film and, broadly speaking, the greatest possession scene in all of cinema. In fact, this scene probably made Linda Blair want to quit acting. The movie is worth it for this 5-10 minute subway scene alone.

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