Pierre Koralnik’s film Cannabis is hard to define – it doesn’t really fit into any genre, in fact it even says during the opening credits that Cannabis is not a film about drugs but it’s the pretext of a film about love and action. It’s an interesting film but it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do or be, in some ways it’s even confusing – what’s this about the Carbonas and their gang of deaf mutes?! But maybe that’s just me and it’s a language problem. Ho hum.
For me Cannabis is a film about leaving or wanting to leave. Jane Swenson (daughter of an ambassador) is always leaving, she just ups and goes wherever she wants, whenever she wants, flying around the world. Serge Morgan (not a very Russian surname for the Russian hitman) has to leave his best friend Paul behind in New York when he is sent to Paris to do a job. Paul is annoyed that Serge says he wants to leave him, New York and the mafia (Paul said he and Serge were “inseparable, undiscoverable, unbeatable”) and he blames Jane for this; mainly because Serge has announced that he is leaving for Neuilly to go and stay with Jane and her aunt and then they will go off somewhere together and leave it all behind. Another thing about Paul is that he is obsessed with “always moving” – he can’t stay still for one moment. Paul, the sneak, calls the mafia to tell them that Serge is going to leave – Paul too wants to leave, he wants to go back to New York straightaway but the mafia tell him he can’t leave until he has killed Serge. Henri Emery (a made up name if ever I’ve heard one!), the drug baron, is now fed up of it all and says he just wants to leave – he tells the police that he wants to leave but they won’t let him because they want him to set up a meeting with Serge. When Serge shoots him and people come to help him, Emery just says: “Leave me alone. Everything is okay. Leave me alone.” Serge finally leaves Jane – and Paul – when Paul shoots him. Some of the cinematography is excellent, it has its moments but it’s not quite as stylish and accomplished as Anna. The music, of course, is excellent. Serge and Jane are excellent. Paul Nicholas is excellent as a deranged hit man – if you fancy seeing him on his hands and knees barking like a dog (hey, I won’t judge you for that if you do!), then Cannabis is the film for you.
Anyway, here are two photographs from my Serge & Jane collection – Serge & Jane behind the scenes on Cannabis: