The Saragossa Manuscript

Written by Joe D on August 18th, 2007

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Enemy soldiers forget War when confronted with The Saragossa Manuscript

Calling all DeadHeads! This was Jerry Garcia’s favorite movie! As a matter of fact he and Martin Scorcese paid for it’s restoration! I saw it at a revival theater a few years back and it is very cool.

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What’s for Dessert?

The Saragossa Manuscript was originally a strange, mystical book written in 1847 by Jan Potocki. it’s full of occult symbolism, picaresque adventures, plots within plots within plots and was reportedly a favorite among Surrealists. (Luis Bunuel cites it in his autobiography, My Last Sigh). The film version was made in 1965 by Wojciech Has.

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Didn’t we meet in a haunted cave?

I think it’s very difficult to pull off the story within a story trick, but this film manages to do it over and over again. A character meets another, the new man begins telling a story, within that story a new character appears and he begins a story, then somehow we’re whisked back to our original character either in bed with two beautiful haunting princesses or waking up next to a hanging corpse! It’s out there!

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Zbyszek Cybulski is Alphonse

Great production value, stunning Black and White Cinematography by Mieczyslaw Jahoda (before Polish DP’s were all the rage). An excellent score by the master of atonal serious horror movie music Krzysztof Penderecki. You should check out this movie, it’s like a mystery wrapped in an enigma shrouded in Illusion and hidden behind a gravestone at Midnight. There is something about it that’s difficult to put into words, mystical I guess, it comes from the Book but somehow through all the years and various translations it is distilled into the movie in a rare and alchemical way.

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So scoop yourself some Cherry Garcia ice cream, load the bong with Panama Red and take a magic carpet ride deep into the brain of Captain Trips.

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Read Me!

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