The Saragossa Manuscript (NC)

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Jan Potocki's cult novel of 1813 is an extraordinary affair of demons,seductresses, cabbalism, duels and tortures which starts in the Peninsular War and proceeds back in time as narratives open out into fresh narratives again and again.

Has's 1965 version is a marathon, but gets the complexity and the weird, pre-Freudian imagery snakes coiled round daggers, piles of skulls spot on, helped by Krzysztof Penderecki's otherworldly score. If you have three hours to spare and don't mind having your head messed with, it will be one to tell the children about. Or your therapist.

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