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Sunday, July 20, 2014
FORMAL ASPECTS OF 'PROXY' DEEMED DE PALMA-ESQUE
"STRIKINGLY STYLIZED SET PIECE" UPENDS THE NARRATIVE
The A.V. Club has posted a midyear look at the best films of 2014 so far, dubbing the article "a halftime report in superlatives." For "most jarring mid-film gear change," Mike D'Angelo writes about Zack Parker's Proxy, stating that the "slow-burn thriller about the dark side of motherhood is among the year’s most divisive movies, and a specific scene at its midpoint tends to divide yea-sayers from naysayers. The first half follows a young woman (Alexia Rasmussen) who turns to a support group after she’s viciously attacked while in the late stages of pregnancy, losing the baby as a result. Her subsequent friendship with another grieving mother (Alexa Havins) takes a series of increasingly odd turns, with Parker repeatedly upending assumptions about who these people are and what they want. Then comes the scene: a strikingly stylized set piece, equal parts Brian De Palma and Lars Von Trier, upending the narrative so completely that it takes a while to realize it wasn’t a dream sequence. Not everyone will appreciate Proxy’s abrupt new direction, which shifts focus to a degree meriting comparison to Psycho, but Parker’s willingness to risk failure and alienate viewers heralds an ambition too infrequently seen in contemporary genre fare. He’s the real deal."

Back in April, D'Angelo reviewed Proxy for The Dissolve, writing that Parker "combines a Hitchcockian penchant for disorientation with a Brian De Palma-esque formal bravado, and he’s made the rare film that’s impossible to peg all the way up to its final minutes—a truly unnerving study in multiple pathologies."


Posted by Geoff at 8:38 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink | Share This Post

Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 10:50 PM CDT

Name: "harry georgatos"

Some how I don't think De Palma will get to direct another film in Hollywood. There are powerful people who haven't forgiven him for Redacted, in a similar manner that these powerful people will never forgive Gibson for the box office success for The Passion Of The Christ. Some stories are taboo in hypocrtical Hollywood. With the box office disaster that was Passion De Palma's chances of new films is slim to none. Redacted has probaly finished off his career in Los Angeles and the chance of making my all time favourite novel The Demolished Man into a film. If he hasn't made a new film by now it's not going to happen.

Monday, July 21, 2014 - 4:44 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma

Well, PASSION wasn't made in Hollywood, and I think we see more and more that De Palma isn't tied to the Hollywood way of working, anyway. In any case, I think you can hold off on calling it a "financial disaster"-- according to Film Comment's annual "Grosses Gloss" in the March-April issue this year, PASSION was the distributor E1's highest grossing film of 2013. The magazine classified PASSION's grosses as "Solid: films that will most likely pay off in the long run. Might be a good strategic investment or will have ancillary value."

Monday, July 21, 2014 - 7:01 PM CDT

Name: "harry georgatos"

I hope I'm wrong and De Palma has more films in him. According to box office mojo Passion from a $30 million budget only made $92 thousand dollars at the North American market. That doesn't take into account ancillary sales as you point. I hope a new De Palma won't take another five years such as was the case after the bad blood reaction when Redacted was released in America.

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