New Rose Hotel ★★★★★

Ferrara’s most remarkable film because of its incompleteness, which due to the nature of the medium (in dissolves, cuts, ellipses), is a totality by omission. That Sandii is Pandora armed not with a box but a computer disc is an afterthought. What is truly disconcerting is the fusion between dream, memory, and video recording that permeates throughout the film. X’s recollections during the latter half of the film in particular constitute a cinematic stream of consciousness that I’ve only encountered with similar strength in Edvard Munch (1974).

What can be said of the smile that concludes the film is that it contains the outline of mischief, satisfaction, contempt, etc.

“You have a demonic power that can tempt a person to want to risk everything, to want to have powers that he does not ordinarily have, which he would not otherwise desire, but desires only so long as you look at him, desires only to be thought to be something he is not, desires simply in order to purchase the indescribable rewards of that appreciative smile.” – Søren Kierkegaard

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