Alex Ross Perry presents: Secret Ceremony

Monday, August 24

Post-film discussion with Alex Ross Perry! Studio archive 35mm print

Two women holed up in a house, lost in a game of their own private rituals and slowly driving each other insane… This description of Alex Ross Perry’s new film QUEEN OF EARTH (opening Wed Aug 26) could just as easily apply to Joseph Losey’s SECRET CEREMONY from 1968. Though Perry readily admits the influence of Polanski and giallo on his latest work, QUEEN OF EARTH displays unmistakable parallels with Losey’s cult favorite – except Perry has never seen it. In a special “sight unseen” program, Celluloid Dreams explores the idea of unconscious influence, as we show SECRET CEREMONY for the first time ever to Perry and possibly you, too – this marks the film’s first NYC screening in several years.

“Elizabeth Taylor is very fine as a tacky madonna: a devout prostitute who’s offered a respite from the streets when a regressive child-woman called Cenci (Mia Farrow in long wig and Pollyanna tights) adopts her as substitute mother and moves her into a mansion of art-déco splendour. No wonder then that Taylor/Laura should fervently pray ‘Oh Lord, let no one snatch me from this heaven’; and as the strange ‘secret ceremonies’ begin, her treatment of Cenci displays the same mix of greed and generosity. Losey’s mannered direction, somehow entirely appropriate, makes for a memorable film. ” – Time Out (London)

  • Country UK
  • Rating R
  • Year 1968
  • Running Time 109 minutes
  • Director Joseph Losey