Alex Cox (REPO MAN) directed this stylized adaptation of Jorge Luis Borges labyrinthine detective story about a totalitarian city of the future plagued by a rash of bizarre crimes. Peter Boyle stars as Lonnrot, a decidedly even headed detective prone to philosophizing and Christopher Eccleston is his nemesis, Red Scarlach, whom Lonnrot believes could be behind these ritualistic crimes. Set in a surreal landscape that provokes Lonnrot’s philosophical musings and leads him through mystical cabals and conspiracies within conspiracies, DEATH AND THE COMPASS is a remarkable adaptation of Borges’ story, and a fascinating, often exhilarating film.
Director: Alex Cox.
Writers: Jorge Luis Borges (story), Alex Cox.
Stars: Peter Boyle, Miguel Sandoval, Christopher Eccleston, Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, Karl Braun, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Alonso Echánove, Eduardo López Rojas, Alex Cox, Gabriela Gurrola, Ariane Pellicer, Rene Pereyra, Mario Iván Martínez, Roberto Sosa, Bruno Bichir, María Fernanda García, Abel Woolrich, Martin LaSalle, Luis de Icaza, Claudio Brook, Leticia Alvarado, Cecilia Montiel, Manuela Loaeza, Regina Reyes, Sandrine Lacon, Cassandra, Marco Rosado, Jesús Hernández, Carlos Millet, Gerardo Moscoso.
Note: The original 55-minute version conceived for the BBC/Spanish TV can be downloaded from here or here (low quality, Spanish audio, no subtitles). I’m guessing an English language version of the TV cut also exists since it was made for the BBC, sadly this version can’t be found anywhere on the internet.