Tribeca Film Festival 2021
Mickey Reece, John Selvidge
Chris Browning, Mary Buss, Sean Gunn, Ben Hall, Zandy Hartig, Jake Horowitz, Hayley McFarland, Molly C. Quinn, Chris Sullivan, Rachel True
Jensine Carr, Elan Gale, Molly Quinn, Jacob Snovel, Matthew Welty
Divide & Conquer
Overflowing floral arrangements, taxidermied lions and frosted cakes serve as the backdrop for this dreamy film about a priest and a neophyte sent to investigate rumours of demonic possession at a convent. The odd pairing matches a dissident priest (a smarmy Ben Hall, who also starred in CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER) with a bright-eyed innocent Benjamin (Jake Horowitz), both of whom will be met with temptation as the strange goings on at the convent test their faith, and that of a specific nun, Agnes (Hayley McFarland).
On the fiftieth anniversary of Ken Russell's THE DEVILS and the anticipated release of Paul Verhoeven's BENEDETTA, 2021 may very well be the year of the nun. With AGNES, Reece brings a totally singular vestal vision to the screen, one dripping with eroticism, melodrama and a touch of romanticism. AGNES also features the director’s wry sense of humour, impressive visual command, unusual fourth wall breaks and excessive performance style, all of which bolster the film’s tone and contributes to its intoxicating allure. Marked by a genuinely daring narrative shift that toys with the idea of memory and challenges preconceptions of spirituality and selfhood, AGNES tests the narrow-minded restrictions of self-narrative, along with those of institutional religion. An over-the-top and delicious experience that drips with blood and holy water in equal measures. – Justine Smith
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The first Italian horror film produced in colour returns to full vibrancy in this gorgeous new restoration from Arrow Films.