''The past is never dead. It is not even the past''. This quotation from William Faulkner sets the scene for John Hillcoat's suggestive psycho-thriller which exposes the past's gnawing power over one man's emotions. At the beginning of the film we meet Jack, a man living in New Guinea. He learns that his woman, Rose, has died. The oppressive mystery of the surrounding jungle leaves a mark of psychological concentration upon this scene, like the heat which lies like a sweaty veil over Jack's face. We then meet him two years later in Melbourne, where he, during a dreamy wandering through the cityscape, meets Kate. They fall in love and she follows him back to New Guinea. But the past casts a ruthless shadow over their new lives. What really happened to Rose? Kate receives a visit one day from the bar owner Sal who seems to know more about Jack and the past than he admits to. Luther, who was present at Rose's death and who was later imprisoned, arrives at Jack's house, too. Jack is given a video tape by Sal showing Rose before her death. His fixation with the video tape develops into a paranoiac obsession with Rose which he projects onto Kate, who is gradually drawn into a psychological slave-relationship to him. The painful roots of the past break increasingly through the unstable facade to force the inevitable resolution. John Hillcoat is a master of the art of suggestion and the whole spectrum of subtle nuances, when he spins the threads of this film's strange psychological tapestry. The tone is similar to David Lynch's, where the polished surface of social relationships withers away because of the underlying desires and instincts. Hillcoat's film is, however, most reminiscent of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now with its apocalyptic atmosphere, which seems to originate in the dark jungle's throbbing heat. The background to this film is a New Guinea characterized by lawlessness, violence and internal disintegration, something which is also reflected in tile actual drama. TB

Titel
To Have and to Hold
Regissör
John Hillcoat
Längd
100 min
Festival
1996
Sektion
Competition
Språk
English
Premiärstatus
Skandinavisk premiär
Produktionsår
1996
Skådespelare
Tcheky Karyo, Rachel Griffiths
Producent
Denise Patience
Manus
Gene Conkie
Musik
Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld, Mick Harvey

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