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Till death unites us

OUT NOW! Austrian director Jessica Hausner’s aesthetically conscious period romance AMOUR FOU favours brutally dark humour over tenderness.

A young mother is diffidently courted by the restless, morbid young poet Kleist, who hopes to tempt her from her wealthy, pallid life – cold young daughter, severe mother, starched husband – not to live but rather to die with him in a romantic double suicide. A polar opposite of the bodice-ripper, this gorgeous, episodic, claustrophobic and exceedingly deliberate narrative eschews carnality or real tenderness in favour of brutally dark humour. Kleist devotees hoping for something starry-eyed should probably steel themselves.

Amour fou | Directed by Jessica Hausner (Germany, Austria, Luxembourg 2014) with Christian Friedel, Birte Schnöink. Starts January 15

Originally published in issue #134, January 2015.