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Mesmer

Mesmer

Vienna around 1770. The physician Franz Anton Mesmer arouses the anger of the medical world of the late 18th century as well as the imaginations of his often young and attractive female patients by his practices as a "faith healer". Mesmer's major 'case' is the blind pianist Maria Theresa Paradies. In an approach that is revolutionary for this time, Mesmer diagnoses her blindness as being hysterical denial. The two discover that they are kindred spirits in the middle of a world distorted by suffering and misery. While there is further progress with Maria Theresa's treatment, Mesmer is condemned by the medical faculty as a charlatan, conman and false faith healer and is banished from Vienna.


Roger Spottiswoode , the son of the film theorist Raymond Spottiswoode, entered the film industry at the age of 19 as an assistant editor. In 1971, Daniel Melnick gave him his first job as chief editor on the film Straw Dogs. This was the beginning of an impressive collaboration with the director Sam Peckinpah, which continued with The Getaway and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. At the end of the 1970s, he moved from editing into direction, making the Canadian thriller Terror Train (1979), which was memorable for with particularly elaborate camerawork. Shortly afterwards, he tried his hand at another genre in Under Fire (1982). Ten years later, he set himself a new challenge with And The Band Played On (1992), the first major documentary-style feature film about AIDS. He shot Mesmer at the Babelsberg studios in autumn 1993. His other films include: The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981), The Best of Times (1986), Shoot To Kill (1988), Turner and Hooch (1989), Air America (1990), and Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot (1992).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1994
Director Roger Spottiswoode
Screenplay Dennis Potter
Cinematography Elemer Ragalyi
Sussn Shipton
Michael Nyman
Cast Alan Rickman, Amanda Ooms, Gillian Barge, David Hemblen, Anna Thalbach
Producers Wieland Schulz-Keil, L.W. Reynolds, R.D. Goodale
Production Companies Levergreen/London, Accent Entertainment/Toronto
Length 100 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 English
Subtitled Version French
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Sound Technology Dolby SR, Dolby Stereo
Festivals Montreal 1994 (in competition)
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