Thursday, September 23rd, 1999, at 7pm in room 10-250
INCUBUS is the first movie entirely filmed in the international language Esperanto. It is also an interesting experimental art-film whose crew are nearly all taken from the Outer Limits TV series and which was called "the best fantasy film since Nosferatu" by a reviewer in the Paris Match. And it stars William Shatner!
According to the 1965 San Francisco International Film Festival, Incubus is "a startling American art-film: daring, experimental and, according to the director, more indebted to the Japanese cinema as an influence than to Ingmar Bergman, whose mystical works it resembles. Filmed in the Big Sur country of Northern California, Leslie Stevens has created an imaginary, wind-swept place called Nomen Tuum, where beautiful demons stalk the earth in search of pure souls in order to destroy them."
The film is written and directed by Leslie Stevens, who (having come from Outer Limits) went on to write, direct, and produce for Buck Rogers (the movie and TV series), Battlestar Galactica, and The Invisible Man TV series. Incubus also features cinematography by Conrad Hall, winner of the Academy Award for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and recipient of eight oscar nominations. Other Outer Limits cronies include make-up artist Fred Phillips, who went on to become director of make-up for Star Trek, and composer Dominic Frontiere, who wrote the original score for Incubus. Notable actors in the film include the aforementioned William "Captain Kirk" Shatner and Yugoslavian Milos Milos, who is one of three actors to have committed suicide shortly after the release of this film.
After receiving high acclaim at film festivals in San Francisco and Paris, Incubus was also lost to the world when a lab mistakenly destroyed the negative and all prints. However, a print was recently discovered at the Cinematheque Francaise from which Anthony Taylor, the original producer, has restored the film and finally made it available on video with English subtitles.
The MIT Societo por Esperanto has been tracking the progress of this restoration at the film's website, www.incubusthefilm.com, and is now bringing Incubus to campus to help promote Esperanto in the MIT community. More information about Esperanto and the Societo is available on the web at http://web.mit.edu/esperanto/www/
Here's what the Incubus website has to say:
"Incubus is 'the movie-watching event of a lifetime' according to Forrest J. Ackerman, the man whom Ray Bradbury called 'the most important fan/collector/human being in the history of science-fantasy fiction.' Mr. Ackerman, winner of 6 Hugo awards, also said, 'There are perhaps a baker's dozen of lost films of the fantastic that imagi-movie fans thirst to see: London After Midnight, Mystery of Life, Night of the Gods, The Young Diana, and... Incubus.'"
And more from the SF International Film Festival:
"...they [the actors] have been perfectly chosen as emblems of unspeakable evil, and the calling-forth of the incubus from Hell is one of the most splendid pieces of horror since the late James Whale conceived the idea of Frankenstein's electronic monster. It is extraordinary that a fresh, imaginative piece of dark fantasy whould come from an independent group of artists, without seeming totally American. INCUBUS indicates that in Hollywood, the imagination can still soar and take flight."