AND PART OF NOIR SIDEBAR THIS MONTH AT THE CINEMATHEQUE IN VANCOUVER
Brian De Palma's Blow Out will screen tonight and tomorrow night (8pm Thursday August 13 and 8pm Friday August 14) at Cinema Under The Stars in San Diego. (Thanks to Brian!) Glenn Heath Jr. at San Diego CityBeat has a nice preview write-up:
"Unlike other great conspiracy thrillers like The Parallax View and Twilight's Last Gleaming, Brian De Palma's Blow Out has a demented sense of humor. In some ways this makes its theme of institutional failure all the more discomforting. The plot surrounding a political assassination grows more outlandish by the scene, lending darkly comic implications and an overwhelming sense of helplessness to a film about the worst kind of warped patriotism.
"While recording sound in the countryside for a horror film, audio technician Jack Terry (John Travolta) accidently captures a car crash on tape. The occupants of the vehicle careen off a bridge and into a creek. Terry saves aspiring make-up artist Sally ([Nancy] Allen) but the driver, governor of Pennsylvania and a presidential hopeful, perishes. His death sends a shockwave throughout the nation, but the real drama unfolds when Jack and Sally begin to piece together how and why he was killed.
"De Palma, ever the cinephile, utilizes the components of film sound (repetition, recording, scratching) to great effect in scenes of tension. There's the woozy 360-degree shot in which Jack slowly discovers all of his tapes have been erased by a proactive assassin (John Lithgow), and the diabolical ending where a character's murder is captured on tape only to be reclaimed for use in a schlock horror film.
"Long takes and crane shots are pivotal to De Palma's examination of corrupt power structures and personal vulnerability. Multiple murder sequences are shot from above, looking down at the victim who is unaware they are about to perish.
"Blow Out, which screens at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 13 and 14, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills, is unflinchingly cynical about how quickly our individual freedoms can be compromised. "I hate to be observed," Sally confesses early on, but in De Palma's film she really has no choice in the matter."
CINEMATHEQUE NOIR SIDEBAR: THE PARANOID CONSPIRACY THRILLER OF THE 1970S
Meanwhile, a little later this month (8:30pm Wednesday August 26, and 6:30pm Thursday August 27), Blow Out screens from DCP at The Cinematheque in Vancouver. Each night is a double bill with the other film in the sidebar, Alan J. Pakula aforementioned The Parallax View, which screens from a 35mm print before Blow Out on August 26, and after Blow Out on August 27. The sidebar is part of The Cinematheque's Film Noir 2015 program, for which they've crafted a limited edition T-shirt featuring Rita Hayworth as Gilda.