Jean Rollin’s, slow but inexorable rise to mainstream acceptance continues with two major theatrical screenings of his work, one in London and the other in New York. In London, the UK’s prestigious BFI (British Film Institute) is screening The Iron Rose, an incredibly gothic and dark tale of love and death starring a young Françoise Pascal, who UK viewers may remember from the comedy series Mind Your Language where she played a stereotypical sexy French girl.
In the Iron Rose, however, Pascal’s sexuality is completely raw and devoid of cliché with Rollin essentially allowing her and her co-actor, Hugues Quester, to run amok. The result is a film that is a mixture of visual poetry and mad love as two young people, trapped and seemingly lost in a vast cemetery, flit between love-making in tombs to murderous rage and back again. A real treat to see on the big screen.
In New York, where bigger is better, the equally prestigious QUAD cinema will be screening 10 of Rollin’s films as part of a major retrospective between the 20th and 23rd October.
This represents a major elevation for Rollin and continues the process of, not just bringing his work to a wider audience, but of furthering the appreciation of his unique take on the vampire and that can only be good.