Goto, Island of Love (1968) | Walerian Borowczyk’s allegorical comic tragedy is a grave beauty

Goto Isle of Love (1

On a mythical island that has been cut off from civilisation by an earthquake, melancholic dictator Goto III (Pierre Brasseur) rules with a iron fist, but power-hungry petty thief Grozo (Guy Saint-Jean) hatches a devious plot to win the heart of Glossia (Ligia Branice), Goto’s beautiful wife. But Grozo’s plans go terribly wrong when he finally gets his hands on Glossia and the island…

Goto Isle of Love

This French allegorical comic tragedy from cult director Walerian Borowczyk was the Polish filmmaker’s first live-action feature, but retains all of the surreal imaginings of his magnificent shorts and 1967 animated feature Mr & Mrs Kabal’s Theatre (also available from Arrow). Featuring bizarre sets, a bonkers fetishtic sex and death scenario, and brilliant blarring deployment of one of Handel’s organ concertos, Goto, Isle of Love is an acutely conceived nightmare where power and lust festers, breeds and rules in absurdity. The film was also a thinly veiled attack on totalitarianism, which famously got it banned in Communist Poland and Fascist Spain (much the director’s delight), and is feminist author Angela Carter’s favourite film. Noted French actor Pierre Brasseur, who plays the sad-eyed dictator, is best known for appearing in such classic French fare as Marcel Carné’s Les Enfants du Paradis (1945) and Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (1960).

Goto, Isle of Love is presented by Arrow Films in a brand new 2k high-definition restoration from the original 35mm interpositive and includes the colour sequences that were often omitted from earlier releases. The release also includes the following element…
• Uncompressed mono 2.0 PCM Audio and optional English subtitles
• Introduction by artist and Turner Prize nominee Craigie Horsfield
The Concentration Universe: Making Goto, Isle of Love (2014), interview programme featuring actor Jean-Pierre Andréani, cameraman Noël Véry and camera assistant Jean-Pierre Platel
The Profligate Door: Borowczyk’s Sound Sculptures (2014), documentary featuring curator Maurice Corbet

Available from Arrow Films from 8 September 2014


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on September 12, 2014, in Avant Garde, Cult classic, Might-See, World Cinema and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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