It’s been 30 years since I saw Paul Schrader‘s The Comfort of Strangers (’90), and mostly I remember the tantalizing erotic tease and the spooky Venice atmosphere, and of course Christopher Walken‘s dry and deflecting perversity, a quality that he brings to pretty much every role. But I don’t remember what happens in the second half except that Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson get more and more entangled in a spider’s web spun by Walken and Helen Mirren. Honestly — my memory is a blank.

I do remember feeling disappointed that a script by Harold Pinter (based on an Ian McEwan short story) didn’t amount to more. It didn’t really pay off, or so I (don’t) recall.

Criterion will release a Strangers Bluray — a “restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Dante Spinotti” — on 8.18.20.

The silky, unctuous tone used by the narrator of this trailer just about ruins the whole thing:

Over the last 20 years I’ve visited Venice seven or eight times (never as a festivalgoer or “tourist” — strictly as wandering existential traveler). I refuse to tolerate the idea of never returning there again. I will, I must, I shall.