Nikos Papatakis’ Gloria Mundi (1976)

December 25, 2013 | By

A Merry Xmas on what I hope for most is a warm Christmas Day.

Walking home last night was surreal – you emerge from the subway station and outside is pure blackness, with some faint lights in the distance. I chose to walk home on a street flanked by houses instead of a large park because it seemed less creepy, and did a kind of ‘puddle wading’ walk home, so as not to slip on any of the thick ice patches. A few homes had external generators running, and some had flickering lights from candles , but the entire neighbourhood north of the Danforth was pretty much dead. A house the street over seemed to have some light, but it may well have been a lantern.

After arriving home, I took the landlord’s suggestion and took the food out of the freezer (which I hand’t opened in 2 days) and placed them in a storage locker outside. The only shock was seeing a bright red wet patch in the freezer – not from thawing meat, but raspberries that had thawed and were leaking bright red juice through a crack in the container. Who knew berries could look so brilliantly sanguine on a white surface?

When the heat returned, the timing was perfect, because the house was, in simple words, fucking cold. You couldn’t stand without shaking in the cold, and every thick object – a mug, metal utensils, whatever – were icy to the touch. It took maybe 5 hours for the entire basement to warm up again to something genuinely comfortable, and I can’t imagine how awful another day without juice would’ve been.  I made a point of leaving the faucets on a slow trickle to ensure the pipes wouldn’t freeze, as no one wants a moat in their basement. I also placed the flashlight right by the door so there was minimal searching & wall bumping in the dark.

The whole walk home and walking in & around the apartment with a flashlight felt like The Omega Man (1971), where Charlton Heston spends a lot of time wandering through the city and suburban streets with his flashlight, searching for vampires.

Biggest surprise: perhaps because the apartment was so cold, the milk actually survived.

Handy tip: if you have to light candles and don’t have long matches or one of those long-neck candle lighters, use a piece of pasta, like spaghetti or fettuccine. Pasta is very long, and allows you to light a wick very easily from any weird angle.

Unlike One 7 Movies cover, this moment is actually in the film.

Uploaded is a review of Nikos Papatakis’ politically charged drama Gloria Mundi, aka Tortura. Rebranded as In Hell by One 7 Movies, this French-Italian co-production is one of just a few films directed by Papatakis, who uses the story of an actress attempting to complete the film begun by her likely dead husband to criticize the French occupation of Algeria.

If you can sit through the opening scene, you can handle the rest in this furious piece of performance art featuring a bravura performance by Olga Karlatos.

Part drama, experimental, and sexploitation, this is not a nice movie, but worth the time for those interested in films designed to provoke audiences with blunt force trauma towards their moral cabinet.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

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