Three allegorical fables

Boom! (1968), Secret Ceremony (1968) and Figures in a Landscape (1970)

in Joseph Losey
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Joesph Losey's involvement in Secret Ceremony, Boom! and Figures in a Landscape was a case of blatant economic necessity. The films are perched precariously between these Puritan and Marxist extremes. At their best - Secret Ceremony - Losey was able to foreground moral questions in light of their cultural constructs, producing a didactic distance in which basic instincts such as incest can be simultaneously felt and critically examined through both Freudian and Marxian frameworks. At their worst - Boom! - Losey tends to confine his protagonists within hermetically sealed environments so that serious ontological issues of life, death and sex are divorced from all social and political (i.e. class) relevance. The films can be usefully grouped together because of their stylistic and thematic similarities. In each case, Losey supplements his trademark baroque mannerisms with an overt, fable-like narrative structure, all the better to polarize his latent Manichaeism.



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