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Thread: Jose Ramon Larraz's SYMPTOMS (1974): that Brussels screening

  1. #1
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    Jose Ramon Larraz's SYMPTOMS (1974): that Brussels screening

    We've been discussing this in the 'lost' Euro films thread, but I think this is worthy of its own thread, as it's such exciting news - well, for me, if not for anyone else.

    Thanks to WillemClaeys and Dom D, it was pointed out that on the 13th of March, SYMPTOMS was screened at the Offscreen Festival in Brussels, along with SCREAM AND DIE.

    Now, as I'm sure you know, the film is on the BFI's 75 'Most Wanted' list as no 35mm prints were thought to remain in existence.

    Anne Billson was apparently in attendance, and she said via Twitter that the film seemed to be screened via a 'bad'/worn 35mm print that carried the film's alternate title of THE BLOOD VIRGIN.

    I've emailed the festival organisers and the BFI about this. I received an email from a senior curator at the BFI who said that
    We’ve been aware of bootleg copies [presumably the off-air recordings and the VHS tape that's been bootlegged and circulated amongst fans] in circulation, but it’s good to realise that a 35mm print still exists. We may contact the Festival to track this print down, but, even if we are successful, it’s still a long way to DVD release.
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

    http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
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    Pallid Hands Andrew Monroe's Avatar
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    It's certainly worth it's own thread...one of my favorite eurohorror films. I remember squinting through a godawful copy from European Trash Cinema for my first viewing. Even the eye-straining qualities of that version couldn't hide the weirdly haunting and creepy atmosphere this one has. It seemed like that would be the only way to see it for the longest time - every other bootlegger or trader seemed to have the same shitty copy - then, a few years ago a fairly nice television recording popped up. Still a long way from the definitive way to see the film but, really, it's hard to describe how great it was to see this after the earlier faded, jumpy abortion.

    Thanks for doing the detective work and alerting the BFI, Paul. I just hope the print is 1) complete, and 2) in decent enough shape that a dvd release is possible.
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  3. #3
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    There's an article about the screening that was published on Monday, Andrew. (It's in French, btw.): www.lapige.be/?p=5238

    Automatic Google translation: http://translate.google.co.uk/transl...ed=0CDYQ7gEwAA
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

    http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

  4. #4
    Pallid Hands Andrew Monroe's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link (and translation!), Paul. I'd love to have attended that festival.
    I don't go to church. Kneeling bags my nylons.

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    Agreed. This is definitely worthy of its own thread. Here's hoping that something comes of this discovery.
    Last edited by Lee; 03-27-2013 at 02:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
    I've emailed the festival organisers and the BFI about this. I received an email from a senior curator at the BFI ...
    Nice work Paul.

    SYMPTOMS is a superbly insidious spiraling psychosis of a film. It is beautifully shot, creatively edited and consummately acted - Angela Pleasence performance is on par with that of Mia Farrow in ROSEMARY'S BABY and Catherine Deneuve in REPULSION. I hope the BFI can figure out a way to pull this off.

  7. #7
    Damn, how could I forget to go to Brussels and see Symptoms and Scream And Die!?

    I hope this will inspire the BFI to release this. Thanks for all the work, Paul!

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