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World Premiere of Peter Strickland’s IN FABRIC at Toronto Film Festival 7th – 15th September


This haunting phantasmagoria from Peter Strickland  follows the surge of misfortunes afflicting customers who come into contact with a bewitched dress at an eerie department store.

Peter Strickland returns to the Festival with a beguiling ghost story worthy of the witching hour. Set against the backdrop of a wintertime department store sales spree, his latest phantasmagoria concerns a cursed scarlet dress as it encounters unsuspecting customers and corrupts their lives.

Obliquely split between two distinct tales in a dreamy divide, Strickland’s film is populated with an idiosyncratic array of indelible characters and imagery. From a lonely divorcee to the wife of a washing machine repairman with a thousand-yard stare, dissatisfied souls float through a mesmerizing miasma of surreal sights and sounds, sporadically punctuated with bursts of disorienting collage-montage.

Pervading each thread is the witchy sales-matron (Fatma Mohamed) of the demonic department store, who speaks to her clientele in a cryptic verse to mask her dark designs, and an eccentric pair of bureaucrats hilariously portrayed by cult-favourite actors Steve Oram and Julian Barratt. Further bolstered by an entrancing cast that includes Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Gwendoline Christie, to say nothing of the villainous dress itself — which hauntingly sails towards its victims with an eerie glide that flirts with both camp and genuine menace — In Fabric is an absorbing synthesis of the exquisite pastiche Strickland achieved with Berberian Sound Studio and the erotic romanticism of his The Duke of Burgundy, here hemmed to sinister effect.


Published: 3rd September 2018