Morgiana | Chicago Reader

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It's difficult to tell how seriously director Juraj Herz intends one to take this gothic art-house thriller, which combines the tongue-in-cheek Grand Guignol excesses of Ken Russell (who was at the height of his career when this film was released in 1971) and the somber psychological drama of Ingmar Bergman. Iva Janzurova plays two sisters, Victoria and Clara. Following the death of their father, the malevolent Victoria designs to kill pretty and amiable Clara in order to have the estate all to herself. She goes off the deep end after administering a slow poison to her sister, her increasing madness mirroring Clara's poison-induced hallucinations. Herz employs a number of disorienting, expressionistic point-of-view shots, displaying a great deal of formal control over this strange brew. In Czech with subtitles. 99 min.

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