An airy allegory (from a Robert Graves story) held to earth by some scathing sexual passion. Alan Bates is the traveling madman who holds a composer (John Hurt) and his wife (Susannah York) in thrall. Sexuality triumphs over civilization through a series of small betrayals, each registered with appalling, pinpoint accuracy by Jerzy Skolimowski’s camera. Though Skolimowski had backed off from his formal ambitions somewhat (he once seemed a real rival to Godard), this 1978 feature is shrewd, imaginative moviemaking, a trance thriller that beats Peter Weir on his own turf.