Planet 224

Marly Youmans reviews
Ritual, 1969
by Jo Mazelis

Ritual, 1969

Seren, £8.99

Jo Mazelis’ well-crafted stories in Ritual, 1969 stand at a crossroads – a liminal place between worlds where criminals and suicides were buried – of the fantastic and the homely real. Choices of direction lie open: wrong choices and high costs are as possible as right. Cross-purposes complicate: the intended reversal of ‘A Bird Becomes a Stone’, where film footage leads ‘the audience to believe [Sarah] was being chased’, only to reveal that ‘her character was the pursuer’, turns again until Sarah, her mind cauled in dreams and narratives, flies and falls. The film ends in the realm of the crossroads with a ‘beautiful haunting question mark’.

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