Etoile (1989) Peter Del Monte

Etoile (1989) aka Ballet
Genre: Fantasy | Horror | Thriller | Surreal | Mystery
Country: Italy | Director: Peter Del Monte
Language: English | Subtitles: None
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 | Length: 101mn
Bdrip H264 Mkv - 1280x690 - 23.976fps - 4.61gb

An American ballerina arrives in Hungary to enroll in a ballet school and it soon becomes apparent that things are not what they seem. 

Jennifer Connelly plays Claire Hamilton, a ballerina who comes to Budapest to pursue her ballet career. Claire goes to the audition and back at her hotel receives black flowers addressed to long dead ballerina Natalie Horvath. She is possessed by the ghost of a 19th century prima-ballerina who was killed in a tragic carriage accident. "Etoile" shares some glaring similarities with Darren Aronofsky's hit "Black Swan" for example the theme of loss identity. Like "The Spider Labirynth" it was shot in Budapest. The action is slow and the film is highly contemplative and subtle. It's certainly fascinating to compare it with "Black Swan".

Peter Del Monte (TRAVELING COMPANION) takes a restrained approach to this slow-burn ghost story that goes against the grain of most Italian-produced horror of this time (producer Achille Manzotti also greenlighted the two NOTHING UNDERNEATH films and later TWO EVIL EYES) but is far more successful compared to Del Monte's other Italian brush with the supernatural JULIA AND JULIA (one of the early hi-def TV productions of the time shot by Giuseppe Rotunno) with Kathleen Turner, Gabriel Byrne, and Sting. There are seeming references to SUSPIRIA (the ballerinas and the creepy school building), OPERA (the performance itself), and INFERNO (Jason's penetrating the subterranean lair) but it is all of a different, more contemplative style as befits Jurgen Kneiper's brooding orchestral score. An uncredited Sergio Stivaletti (THE STENDHAL SYNDROME) created a giant animatronic black swan that is kept largely offscreen but the raising of its silhouetted head behind a curtain upon Jason's entrance into its mirror-filled chamber recalls the rousing of SUSPIRIA's Helena Markos).
Etoile (1989)

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