A film of limpid clarity adapted from Henry James' The Aspern Papers, with present-day Lisbon smoothly substituting for 19th century Venice, and terrific performances from Valli and Ogier as the old lady and the spinster niece under siege from a writer determined to lay his hands on a fabulous manuscript entrusted to their keeping. Although the finer Jamesian ironies are compromised by an added subplot designed to allow the writer to explain his motivations, the central theme is subtly orchestrated as the two women fight to preserve their private feelings and memories from being made public. De Gregorio's obsession with time, memory and the sinister emanations from old dark houses (cf. his own Sérail, his scripts for Celine and Julie Go Boating and The Spider's Strategy) is made all the more effective here by his use of an abrupt editing style in disruptive counterpoint to the brooding atmosphere.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Eduardo de Gregorio|