Probably a work of genius
Dunaway showcases a new kinda of acting altogether, a hybrid mixture of camp impersonation and full on demonic possession. Without it, the film ceases to exist. Slimy nostalgia tabloid told with outrageous bombast in an epic tale of what is essentially vignettes, a series of scenes so confusingly put together that any given cut could be anywhere between a split-second reaction shot to a "several years later" interval. Few films depend so much on their central performance, and it's one of the greatest I've ever seen.
The first film I've logged twice on Letterboxd, and one of my very favourite movies of all time. One of the highlights of that rich, rich period of cinema, of the heyday of European arthouse, which unlike so many of those comes not out of navel-gazing but of intense engagement with the political and cultural spirit of the times, in dialogue with Marxism, existentialism and some profane manifestation of the divine. It's a mysterious and beautiful film, and so thematically…