Morlang Tjebbo Penning

Julius Morlang (Paul Freeman) is a successful painter living in Ireland with a young admirer (Susan Burroughs). For the previous 15 years, however, Morlang was married to Ellen (Diana Kent), his muse and personal manager. When Ellen confesses to a brief affair with a younger rival artist, Morlang dissolves into jealousy, rage and confusion. His emotions turn all the more toxic when Ellen is diagnosed with cancer. Ellen dies, though perhaps not as you'd expect. Morlang is a chilling psychological thriller rarely seen in this country, but is deserving of a look. British TV actor Freeman is fine as the icy, withholding artiste, while Diana Kent nearly steals the show as the graceful Ellen. Only Burroughs fails to convince as the love interest. Penning skilfully cuts back and forth between present and past to construct a stylish thriller that builds towards a rewarding surprise ending. This Dutch film from 2001 is one of the better titles in Mongrel's Festival Collection. (Mongrel Media)