Saturday, June 13, 2009

Peeping Tom

Michael Powell, 1960 (6.8*)
I'm recommending this for fans of both Psycho and the Powell/Pressburger films, such as A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven), The Red Shoes, and Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. However, it's far more similar to Psycho than the other films of Powell's. This is an eerie story about a psychopathic film cameraman, who carries a handheld film camera around to photograph everyday events, almost as an obsession.

We find early in the film that his father was a scientist, who specialized in fear, especially in children. It apparently left Mark, played icily by Carl Boehm, with a decidedly Peter Lorre voice (it's uncanny!), a bit scarred emotionally and also voyeristic. He also enjoys watching people's emotional reactions, and especially on film. Of course, we also know early on he's a bit homicidal as a result, so the suspense comes in seeing if he will kill the women he's close to or if he's too close to bear hurting them.

For Powell, it's a bit overt compared to his more artistic films. As inspired by Psycho, it's actually quite good, as for me that film degenerated into a near laughable conclusion, while Peeping Tom never does that at least. Well filmed like all of Powell's, just not one of his best efforts to me.


house season 5 June 14, 2009 at 3:48 AM  

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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