(159) NIGHT OF THE HOURGLASS (2007) Jean Rollin rarity
French title LA NUIT DES HOROGES (the Night of the Hourglass)
also known as THE NIGHT OF THE CLOCKS
director: Jean Rollin
starring Ovidie · Francoise Bianchard · Dominique · Maurice Lemaitre
· Natalie Perrey · Jean-Loup Philippe
2006, legendary director Jean Rollin was told he only had a few months
to live. He'd been diagnosed with Stage III Cancer. At this point, it
had been years since his previous picture. In the face of impending death,
Jean began writing a new script that - he believed - would become his
swan song. The harsh realities of his tenuous situation frustrated Rollin's
creativity. Without a guarantee that the director could live to finish
the production, his usual backers pulled financial support. He decided
this new project would be his first independently produced since 1968's
OF THE VAMPIRE. And he felt invigorated by that. Perhaps, because
Jean knew this movie would stand as his coda, he was determined to make
it as personal as possible without drifting rudderless into sentimentality.
But as Jean Rollin wrote that screenplay he DID
drift into nostalgic sentimentality, surging far beyond into maudlin,
absorbed, self-indulgent. In short, Rollin had created a script that became
HIM, almost embarrassing, but more personal than
anything since LIPS
(Lèvres de sang) and it was flawed, yet brilliant. Jean Rollin
had written his own obituary.
Embedded in his familiar
landscape (fantasy, hallucination, chimera), Rollin takes the audience
far beyond the traditional horror element by peeling back the façade,
touching/embracing his own life in his art. An array of his most famous
characters have been frozen in time, cursed to repeat their same performance
for eternity. [Perhaps that's better than having no lasting impression?]
This film stars Ovidie who - like Rollin's muse, Brigitte Lahaie - came
from a decade of adult films. Under Jean's guidance, she also manages
to capture the dreamy consistency of his other memorable female sirens.
She plays a young woman on a nightmarish journey to find her missing uncle,
a reclusive horror filmmaker named Michel Jean [note: the forename of
Jean Michel Rollin Le Gentil]. Through her journey, she is guided
by characters from his movies as well as the actors who played them (i.e.,
Dominique from REQUIEM
FOR A VAMPIRE, Françoise Blanchard from "Living Dead
Girl," Natalie Perrey from TWO
ORPHAN VAMPIRES, Solange Pradel from RAPE
OF THE VAMPIRE, et al), a collection of cinematic ghosts
who beckon for unsuspecting victims to follow them into the hourglass
In a twist of fate,
Jean Rollin's health remained relatively strong. He finished the film.
But his life had not ended. A few years passed. Jean's wife Simone Rollin
convinced him to take some recent essays and shape them into a film. That
movie became MASK
OF THE MEDUSA, completed and released in 2009. Mr Jean Rollin
died from his spreading cancer in December of 2010 at age 72.
film with optional English subtitles; widescreen format,
uncut 92 minutes, DVD Package encoded for ALL REGION NTSC FORMAT.
Extras include Interview: Jean Rollin discussing this film.
Recommended for Mature Audiences