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post #101 of 261

post #102 of 261

That doc looks great.  I hope De Palma really cuts loose and doesn't hold anything back; at this point in his career, I don't think he's too concerned about burning any potential bridges.

post #103 of 261
Thread Starter 

‘Obsession’: When De Palma Stepped Out of Hitchcock’s Shadow

 

http://www.cinephiliabeyond.org/obsession-de-palma-stepped-hitchcocks-shadow/

 

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"Released in the late summer of 1976, more than a year since the end of production due to Columbia Pictures minor objections to some of the film’s controversial themes and motifs, Brian De Palma’s psychological thriller Obsession achieved solid box office results and was welcomed by a mixed reaction from the critics. Its life under the spotlight was inescapably limited, however, since De Palma’s breakout film Carrie hit the theaters in November of the very same year. Obsession ended its life in cinemas and soon fell into the uncomfortable and unfair realm of filmgoing oblivion, overshadowed by both the acclaimed adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, and the filmmaker’s grander future projects. But this masterful homage to Hitchcock’s Vertigo, it should be noted, is without any doubt a film quite deserving of constant reappraisal. With bulletproof performances of Cliff Robertson (Charly) and Geneviève Bujold (Anne of the Thousand Days), De Palma told a highly cinematic, Hitchcockian mystery with style, class and more than enough unique quality for the film to be able to stand solidly on its own feet, regardless of the similarities it shares with Vertigo, an inspiration that both De Palma and his screenwriter Paul Schrader acknowledged from the very get-go. Schrader was very proud of his script, which is why he took it to heart when De Palma insisted on changing the film’s climax. On the suggestion of experienced composer Bernard Herrmann, the director decided to shorten the finale, solidify and condense it, much to Schrader’s chagrin. Consequentially, the screenwriter distanced himself from the project and moved on to other work, soon reaching the peak of his career with Taxi Driver."
post #104 of 261
Thread Starter 

‘Dressed to Kill’: Brian De Palma’s Razor-Sharp, Dreamlike Erotic Thriller

 

http://www.cinephiliabeyond.org/dressed-kill-brian-de-palmas-razor-sharp-dreamlike-erotic-thriller/

 

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"With its highly stylized images of violence, exceptional acting performances from Nancy Allen and Michael Caine, seductive and staggeringly overt eroticism, ability to deliver shock and undeniable metafilmic and subversive qualities, Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill, released in the midst of the summer of 1980, proved a lucrative and surprisingly influential endeavor that incited the emergence and substantial popularity of the erotic thriller genre, a body of work that found its peak during the eighties and nineties of the past century. The Newark-born filmmaker of Italian roots was inevitably often compared to Alfred Hitchcock, his most obvious cinematic influence, and it seems that Dressed to Kill fits neatly into the thesis that states that De Palma’s early work mostly consists of paying homage to some of the greatest films the master of thrillers ever produced. As Obsession is a clear play on the general themes of Vertigo, and Body Double draws apparent parallels to both Vertigo and Rear Window, De Palma’s 1980 story of a psychologically troubled cross-dresser with a deadly razor immediately summons to mind the image of Norman Bates from Psycho. It would be misguided and even slightly offensive, however, to discard Dressed to Kill–or any of the two other films mentioned, by that matter–as simple products of a craft individual’s crazed fandom. De Palma uses a lot of narrative themes that his predecessor mastered, yes, but takes them onto the next level, infusing them with more than sufficient originality and individual, independent passion to call his work completely authorial. Dressed to Kill is like a spiced-up, power-up, less-restricted version of Psycho, and a work of art that even thirty six years upon its release still manages to entertain, frighten and intrigue many viewers."
post #105 of 261
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Edited by Agentsands77 - 5/10/17 at 5:53am
post #106 of 261
Thread Starter 

I love Schrader - he's one of my heroes -but I think DePalma's rearranging of the last act makes it. As you said, that swirling finale is note perfect.

 

OBSESSION is the movie that started my journey to becoming a DePalmaphile. I was a Hitchcock kid, and this was the first film that did the same thing, played me and stirred me the same way. I watched it a lot. And it has never lost its power.

post #107 of 261
Thread Starter 

Nice Interview:

 

Brian De Palma: Why He’ll Never Work in Hollywood Or on Television Again

 

http://www.indiewire.com/2016/06/brian-de-palma-documetary-hollywood-tv-noah-baumbach-jake-paltrow-1201683547/

 

"At my age, I don’t really care. I enjoy every day. I’m 75 years old and it’s good to be alive."

post #108 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

Nice Interview:

Brian De Palma: Why He’ll Never Work in Hollywood Or on Television Again




http://www.indiewire.com/2016/06/brian-de-palma-documetary-hollywood-tv-noah-baumbach-jake-paltrow-1201683547/

"At my age, I don’t really care. I enjoy every day. I’m 75 years old and it’s good to be alive."
This is great. I always love how frank he is in interviews. He throws that producer right under the bus.

I'm glad he's enjoying his old age. He's the best American director of his generation. He's earned a good rest.
post #109 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


This is great. I always love how frank he is in interviews. He throws that producer right under the bus.

I'm glad he's enjoying his old age. He's the best American director of his generation. He's earned a good rest.

I mean, I love the guy, but I'd never place him above Spielberg or Scorsese.  How would you make your case?  I'm genuinely interested!

 

In other news, Scream Factory's RAISING CAIN Blu-ray has been pushed back to September, supposedly to accommodate more extras that are being created.  De Palma was involved with their PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE release, so it's a safe bet he's involved on RAISING CAIN, too, but I wonder what else the package will entail.  Weren't there supposedly a couple of radically different cuts of the movie at one point before release?  Perhaps one of those is being pieced together with De Palma's oversight.

post #110 of 261
To satisfactorily make the case that De Palma is greater than Scorsese or Spielberg would be quite an endeavor. They're all three quite tremendous. But this much, at least, seems quite clear to me: De Palma's command of cinematic form exceeds that of his brethren.

De Palma synthesizes the legacies of Godard and Hitchcock into a body of work that chronicles the failure of progressivism under American capitalism while simultaneously interrogating the very nature of the cinematic image, which is both deceitful and sacramental. His films set up sustained tensions between revelation and deceit, idealism and cynicism, which are never wholly resolved and which encapsulate the American existence of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.
post #111 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

To satisfactorily make the case that De Palma is greater than Scorsese or Spielberg would be quite an endeavor. They're all three quite tremendous. But this much, at least, seems quite clear to me: De Palma's command of cinematic form exceeds that of his brethren.

Debatable!  I think you could certainly make the case for the De Palma of the '70s and '80s, even though I likely still wouldn't agree.  However, I think both Spielberg and Scorsese, over the course of their careers, have maintained a level of quality (even virtuosity) that De Palma, for whatever reasons, has not maintained.  The De Palma of THE BLACK DAHLIA or REDACTED is not on the level that Spielberg and Scorsese still are.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

De Palma synthesizes the legacies of Godard and Hitchcock into a body of work that chronicles the failure of progressivism under American capitalism while simultaneously interrogating the very nature of the cinematic image, which is both deceitful and sacramental. His films set up sustained tensions between revelation and deceit, idealism and cynicism, which are never wholly resolved and which encapsulate the American existence of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.

That's a pretty brilliant encapsulation of the man's work and his interests.  Can you recommend any written works out there that break down his filmography along these lines?

post #112 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post

Debatable!  I think you could certainly make the case for the De Palma of the '70s and '80s, even though I likely still wouldn't agree.
The De Palma of the 90s and Aughts shouldn't be underestimated. I agree with Cahiers du Cinema's declaration that CARLITO'S WAY is the best film of the 90s, and FEMME FATALE is astonishing. 

There's also plenty to like in RAISING CAIN, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, and SNAKE EYES.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post

Can you recommend any written works out there that break down his filmography along these lines?
Oh, yes. Check out UN-AMERICAN PSYCHO by Chris Dumas. It's a great read.
post #113 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


The De Palma of the 90s and Aughts shouldn't be underestimated. I agree with Cahiers du Cinema's declaration that CARLITO'S WAY is the best film of the 90s, and FEMME FATALE is astonishing. 

There's also plenty to like in RAISING CAIN, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, and SNAKE EYES.

Don't get me wrong, I like all of those movies!  A lot, in some cases.  I would still argue, though, that Spielberg's 1990s and 2000s were - on balance - even stronger.  Ditto for Scorsese.

 

But the good news is, we really don't have to choose one over the others.  We can appreciate them all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

Oh, yes. Check out UN-AMERICAN PSYCHO by Chris Dumas. It's a great read.

Excellent.  Looks like I'll be placing an order very soon.

post #114 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post
 

I would still argue, though, that Spielberg's 1990s and 2000s were - on balance - even stronger.  Ditto for Scorsese.

My feeling is this: if you produce the greatest film of the 90s, it doesn't matter if the rest of the stuff you put out that decade is rubbish. Consistency is overrated. Now, of course, not everyone (or even most folks) regards Carlito's Way as such an incredible triumph. But I do. What's clear regarding Scorsese and Spielberg is that they were both putting out more "major" films in their filmography in the 90s than De Palma was. As much as I enjoy Raising Cain, Mission: Impossible, and Snake Eyes, they're not pivotal films in De Palma's filmography. They, like Passion, are grace notes.

 

Admittedly, I'm not a huge Scorsese guy. I connect with his under-appreciated films more than the canonically "great" ones (for me, The King of Comedy is Scorsese's finest hour). Scorsese is a muscular, vivacious filmmaker, but I often struggle to find my bearings with him. I perceive a kind of formal untidiness about his work, a lack of cohesion. Nearly everyone recognizes that in his most transparently dissonant films, like New York, New York and Gangs of New York, where the pieces quite obviously don't fit together. But I don't feel that his so-called "better" films are that far apart from that: even when Scorsese is at his best, it often feels like he's brought a bunch of disparate pieces together that don't quite fit, even if they're built of breathtaking moments.

post #115 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post
 

My feeling is this: if you produce the greatest film of the 90s, it doesn't matter if the rest of the stuff you put out that decade is rubbish. Consistency is overrated. Now, of course, not everyone (or even most folks) regards Carlito's Way as such an incredible triumph. But I do. What's clear regarding Scorsese and Spielberg is that they were both putting out more "major" films in their filmography in the 90s than De Palma was. As much as I enjoy Raising Cain, Mission: Impossible, and Snake Eyes, they're not pivotal films in De Palma's filmography. They, like Passion, are grace notes.

 

Admittedly, I'm not a huge Scorsese guy. I connect with his under-appreciated films more than the canonically "great" ones (for me, The King of Comedy is Scorsese's finest hour). Scorsese is a muscular, vivacious filmmaker, but I often struggle to find my bearings with him. I perceive a kind of formal untidiness about his work, a lack of cohesion. Nearly everyone recognizes that in his most transparently dissonant films, like New York, New York and Gangs of New York, where the pieces quite obviously don't fit together. But I don't feel that his so-called "better" films are that far apart from that: even when Scorsese is at his best, it often feels like he's brought a bunch of disparate pieces together that don't quite fit, even if they're built of breathtaking moments.


See, I kind of love that about Scorsese.  What you perceive as formal untidiness I perceive as almost giddy energy.  Sometimes that's messy or shaggy, but I don't think that's due to a lack of care or control, necessarily.  I do, however, sort of agree with you about his under-appreciated films.  Movies like THE KING OF COMEDY (which I regard as a complete masterpiece) or KUNDUN or BRINGING OUT THE DEAD are fascinating to me, and they're movies I revisit more frequently than I do RAGING BULL, for example, which I deem to be his most overrated film.

 

I guess it's also kind of unfair in a way to compare later-era De Palma with later-era Spielberg and Scorsese because they've both been far more prolific over the last two decades than he has, so there's a wider body of work there to examine.  If De Palma was cranking out movies every 2-3 years consistently like those two guys were, we'd have more to go on.

post #116 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post
 


See, I kind of love that about Scorsese.  What you perceive as formal untidiness I perceive as almost giddy energy.  Sometimes that's messy or shaggy, but I don't think that's due to a lack of care or control, necessarily.

Oh, even at his worst, Scorsese is never careless. I would never dare to slander him that way. He's exceedingly thoughtful (the Schickel book, Conversations with Scorsese, is a must-read).

post #117 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post
 


I guess it's also kind of unfair in a way to compare later-era De Palma with later-era Spielberg and Scorsese because they've both been far more prolific over the last two decades than he has, so there's a wider body of work there to examine.  If De Palma was cranking out movies every 2-3 years consistently like those two guys were, we'd have more to go on.

I'm sad De Palma never got to do The Demolished Man or his Treasure of Sierra Madre remake.

 

Those rank pretty highly among The Best Films Never MadeTM.

post #118 of 261

I had no idea he was circling a SIERRA MADRE remake!  You can't improve the original, but with the right cast it probably could have been really interesting.

post #119 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post

I had no idea he was circling a SIERRA MADRE remake!  You can't improve the original, but with the right cast it probably could have been really interesting.
It was only loosely tied to the original, ala SCARFACE. It substituted drugs for gold.

It read wonderfully.
post #120 of 261
Thread Starter 

The Director of Carrie scarred me for life, and it wasn’t with Carrie


http://www.hitfix.com/the-dartboard/the-director-of-carrie-scarred-me-for-life-and-it-wasnt-with-carrie
post #121 of 261
Thread Starter 

[LITTLE MISS RISK’S DUNGEON] PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (1974)

 

http://dailygrindhouse.com/thewire/risks-dungeon-phantom-paradise-1974/

 

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post #122 of 261
Thread Starter 
post #123 of 261

I'm watching the Criterion Blu of Dressed to Kill this morning.

 

Definitely the best-looking release of the film to date. And what a film!

post #124 of 261
Thread Starter 

Beaks: "DE PALMA is a master class in pure cinema and flat-out not giving a fuck. Loved the CASUALTIES OF WAR and CARLITO’S WAY segments." "There’s zero cheating in CARLITO’S WAY’s Grand Central sequence. It’s precise. No idea why it’s not more celebrated."

post #125 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post
 

I'm watching the Criterion Blu of Dressed to Kill this morning.

 

Definitely the best-looking release of the film to date. And what a film!


I've got the standard MGM Blu.  Aside from just picture quality, is the Criterion worth an upgrade?

post #126 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post


I've got the standard MGM Blu.  Aside from just picture quality, is the Criterion worth an upgrade?
I'd say so. Solid extras and nice packaging.

I wish there was a commentary track, though.
post #127 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


I'd say so. Solid extras and nice packaging.

I wish there was a commentary track, though.


Cool.  I'll add it to the list of Criterions I'm hoping to pick up during the 50% off sale next month.

post #128 of 261

I'm a big fan of the Criterion as well, although it's not quite as great their Blow Out disc. I hope they do a Sisters Blu upgrade soon.

post #129 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

I hope they do a Sisters Blu upgrade soon.

Absolutely.  I've still got their DVD, and it's ready for an update.

post #130 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post

Absolutely.  I've still got their DVD, and it's ready for an update.
For sure.

I'd like them to do FEMME FATALE. It's in desperate need of a proper release.
post #131 of 261
I keep finding myself revisiting Body Double. I find it more watchable and interesting than almost any of his other films (which I mostly love). It's so sleazy and vibrant and pure. I think Carlito's Way is fine but it always struck me as a bit pedestrian compared with his other works. And Penelope Ann Miller just never worked for me.
post #132 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumpledforeskin View Post

I think Carlito's Way is fine but it always struck me as a bit pedestrian compared with his other works.
There's nothing pedestrian about its pitch-perfect climax. That sequence is a masterclass in precision filmmaking.
post #133 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

There's nothing pedestrian about its pitch-perfect climax. That sequence is a masterclass in precision filmmaking.
Right. I have no disagreement there. The scene in the bar, with the pool tables, is also nail-biting. It's the rest of the parts that don't really add up for me. But Sean Penn is awesome.
post #134 of 261
Along with CASUALTIES OF WAR, there's a tenderness that comes through in CARLITO'S WAY that is rarely seen in the rest of De Palma's body of work. There's a profound longing for transcendence that propels both of those films.

The bit with Carlito watching the dance class in the rain? That's such a wonderful return to the expressive artifice of classic Hollywood.
post #135 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumpledforeskin View Post

I keep finding myself revisiting Body Double. I find it more watchable and interesting than almost any of his other films (which I mostly love). It's so sleazy and vibrant and pure.

I come back to BODY DOUBLE quite frequently, even though it's never been one of my top De Palma faves.  There's something about the vibe that really feels more like an overt horror film, even though it's really no more or less genre-y than his other thrillers of the early 1980s.  I also really dig the way the narrative changes course after the big drill murder.  DRESSED TO KILL did the same thing on one level, but BODY DOUBLE's change-up feels like we flow into a whole other movie, which is kind of fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


There's nothing pedestrian about its pitch-perfect climax. That sequence is a masterclass in precision filmmaking.

It's fantastic, though also one of his more underrated setpieces.  You don't often hear it talked about with CARRIE's prom sequence, or the train station scene from THE UNTOUCHABLES, or the Langley break-in from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, but it's right up there with all of those.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumpledforeskin View Post

But Sean Penn is awesome.

CARLITO'S WAY has my favorite Penn performance.  I'm not really a big fan of him usually, but I love what he's doing in that one.

post #136 of 261
Thread Starter 

(via WILL MCCRABB) SCORSESE on DePALMA

 

post #137 of 261

I rewatched Carlito's Way last night as this thread has rekindled my interest in it. I must admit that I appreciated it more this time around--particularly the scenes that have been talked about above. It may be the relatively low-key vibe of the film that is, initially, a little off-putting to me. I'm a little more accustomed to the baroque grandiosity of his other work but I found myself warming up to the more restrained approach. It still has a slight whiff of been-there-done-that to me but there are just too many good performances (particularly Sean Penn), expertly crafted scenes, and a wonderful score that stand out. And I'm not exactly sure why I remember not liking Penelope in it. She brings it to the table just fine. I'm curious to know what you guys think of his later-period stuff. I never hear much about Redacted other than that it's terrible and The Black Dahlia seems to be shunned quite a bit as well. I've never seen either of those but I did catch Passion--which I quite liked and would like to revisit again soon. 

post #138 of 261
If THE BLACK DAHLIA had stronger performances for the Bucky and Kay parts, nobody would rag on it the way they do. It has its moments.

REDACTED is conceptually bold, but I enjoy talking/thinking about it significantly more than I do watching it.
post #139 of 261
Thread Starter 

post #140 of 261

That's a fantastic snapshot of where those two men were at that particular moment in time, and is a stark contrast of personalities.  De Palma - relaxed and conversational, Scorsese - a bundle of nervous energy.  I've often thought of later-era (1990s up to today) Scorsese as one of the most articulate and passionate people on the subject of film, but here - what I presume is deep into his drugs period - he's kind of uncomfortable to watch.  It's definitely fun seeing those guys together, though; their friendship really comes through.

post #141 of 261
Thread Starter 

You nailed it. The friendship really comes through. And really funny. They play off each other like an old comedy team.

post #142 of 261

I have to say, I love the poster for the new documentary. A strong and unusual image that completely succeeds in making its point. I also just find the idea of him peeking through blinds like a creep really amusing.

post #143 of 261
Thread Starter 

"MISSION TO MARS: the great anomaly in BDP's filmography -- beautiful, sweet, hopeful. Overwhelming wonder in place of paranoid misanthropy." - Jacob Knight

post #144 of 261

I was stunned by MISSION TO MARS. It's an impeccably designed and profoundly beautiful movie, one with enough room for De Palma's sly, subversive humor. The critics had their knives out for it and I've never understood why.

 

THE BLACK DAHLIA, however ... blecch. Miscasting sinks it.

post #145 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malmordo View Post

THE BLACK DAHLIA, however ... blecch. Miscasting sinks it.
Yeah, it's a shame, because it's otherwise pretty decent (a little dense and confusing, sure, but with noir cinema that's a feature, not a bug) and it does a better job of preserving Ellroy's themes than L.A. CONFIDENTIAL does.
post #146 of 261
Thread Starter 

De Palma’s SNAKE EYES: Truth Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

 

 

Brian De Palma’s 1998 film is an experimental conspiracy thriller skewering the very nature of impropriety.

 

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/06/21/de-palmas-snake-eyes-truth-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder

 

 

"Throughout his career, Brian De Palma has grappled on screen with systemic corruption, particularly in the government and the military, but those themes were never explored so perfectly as in 1998’s Snake Eyes, his bravura ode to widespread immorality. To say there’s a lot going on in this movie is putting it mildly. De Palma employs his hallmark visual aesthetic here to pornographic excess, leading many to see Snake Eyes as little more than an experimental exercise, style without substance. But that’s just a surface reading. While De Palma is clearly having the time of his life shooting these long takes and toying around with perspective, it’s all in pursuit of pinning down the corrosive nature of graft."

post #147 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malmordo View Post
 

I was stunned by MISSION TO MARS. It's an impeccably designed and profoundly beautiful movie, one with enough room for De Palma's sly, subversive humor. The critics had their knives out for it and I've never understood why.

 

THE BLACK DAHLIA, however ... blecch. Miscasting sinks it.

MISSION TO MARS has some great stuff in it, for sure (the buildup to and execution of the early "vortex" sequence is superb, and feels truly alien and scary... especially for a PG-rated film).  The whole package doesn't come together, but it's ambitious, and I really kind of get a kick out of the fact that Disney took a chance on an expensive, original sci-fi story and got somebody like Brian De Palma to helm the thing.  Good cast doing good work, good effects and production design, and a good Morricone score, too (one of my mother's favorite soundtracks, in fact!).

 

I've got no real use for THE BLACK DAHLIA, however.  I think all of the leads are miscast. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


Yeah, it's a shame, because it's otherwise pretty decent (a little dense and confusing, sure, but with noir cinema that's a feature, not a bug) and it does a better job of preserving Ellroy's themes than L.A. CONFIDENTIAL does.

You can feel what the screenplay is aiming for, but it never pulls it all off.  That's probably a side effect of condensing the novel, but none of the arcs feel earned or satisfying, and the noir mystery is a big ol' convoluted bag of nothing (at least as presented in the movie).  The movie's got style to spare (you can't go wrong in that sense with De Palma in a period setting), but nothing connects beyond that.

post #148 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
 

So fun to see.  I don't think I've ever seen De Palma be so jolly and conversational.  How wonderful!

 

I don't think I've ever seen him without facial hair either...  When he's laughing, he reminds me of someone.  Can't place who at the moment.  Perhaps a reversal of the Rebecca Ferguson/Liev Schreiber situation...

post #149 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post

I've got no real use for THE BLACK DAHLIA, however.  I think all of the leads are miscast. 
I like Swank. She's having fun, at least. And Eckhart isn't bad, the script is just so fragmented that his character has no throughline. Hartnett and Johansson are pretty vacuous, though.

I don't mind that the arcs don't feel earned or weighty, necessarily. Noir has always been a genre that thrives on fever-dream plotting and strange visual moments (just look at THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI or MINISTRY OF FEAR). It's okay for a noir story to feel weirdly disjointed as long as it's still vivid.

But, alas, due to Hartnett and Johansson, there's no functioning emotional center to anchor all the rest of it and give it some progression. The story needs to be rooted in their romance, and their romance is a big fat nothing.
post #150 of 261

For a movie ostensibly about solving the murder of Elizabeth Short, it seems to have little to no interest in the actual mystery. I haven't read the Ellroy novel, but the way it takes a back seat to Harnett and Scar Jo's relationship is just bizarre. Then when the mystery is resolved it's in the most unsatisfying way possible. Fiona Shaw's Looney Tunes performance doesn't help much with that, either. Seeing William Finley again was fun though!

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