Extraordinary Tales: Midnight conversations between Poe and Death
by Jon Arozamena
- The movie, screened at the Brussels Anima Festival, consists of five stories by Edgar Allan Poe that help us to reconsider the life and work of this famous author
Five short films, all based on stories by the great Edgar Allan Poe, make up the movie Extraordinary Tales [+see also:
film profile], screened at the Brussels Anima Festival. Two of the short films (The Fall of the House of Usher and The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar) already existed before they were included in Extraordinary Tales. Accompanying them are The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death and The Tell-Tale Heart.
Each of the shorts has a completely unique visual style despite all being directed by Spanish Raúl García. With influences from Egon Schiele to Alberto Breccia and including Roy Lichtenstein, the seasoned García succeeds in making each style his own to help the viewer to enter into the complex psychology that permeates Poe’s works.
During the intervals that interweave the five stories, a raven chats with Death in a cemetery. The raven is, naturally, the animal chosen by García to host Poe’s incarnate soul. With this game of fiction and reality, the movie acts as a secret passageway into the dark depths of the renowned writer’s soul and spirit. The conversation, between the existential and ghostly, creates a kind of mirror in which the five stories look at each other and discover, perhaps, (and the viewers with them) their raison d’être.
Produced for Luxembourg Melusine Productions, Extraordinary Tales offers (with the help of a luxury voice cast: Christopher Lee, Roger Corman, Guillermo del Toro…) a kind of dance of life and death (helped undoubtedly by the haunting acoustic presence of the no less stellar Bela Lugosi), that serves as a perfect tribute to the life and work of Allan Poe.
(Translated from Spanish)