3 items from 2016
Body Double, 1984.
Directed by Brian De Palma.
An out-of-work actor becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman after spying on her through a telescope, leading to a series of nasty events.
After beginning the 1980s with the triple-whammy of Dressed to Kill, Blow Out and Scarface, filmmaker Brian De Palma’s next effort would be a slightly lesser offering in the shape of 1984’s Body Double, a more Hitchcockian movie than his previous couple of films but one that also saw the director toning down some of his usual trademarks in favour of a few different techniques.
Jake Scully (Craig Wasson – A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) is a happy-go-lucky jobbing actor who suffers from claustrophobia, making his latest role as a vampire buried in a grave a bit of a chore. Scully »
- Amie Cranswick
This documentary about the career of Brian De Palma takes a suitably forthright approach: De Palma’s work is explored in his own words, and his words only, uncluttered by talking heads and critical evaluations. And frankly, De Palma is such an entertaining and open raconteur, his words are all you need. High points include an anecdote about Sean Penn and Michael J Fox on the set of Casualties of War; his thoughts on the size of the drill bit that perforated Deborah Shelton in Body Double and De Palma’s trademark exclamation of “Holy mackerel!”
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- Wendy Ide
When rewatching Body Double for the third time, its most striking element was, as on my first viewing, Craig Wasson’s performance. As central character Jake Scully, Wasson turns his conventionally attractive looks into an endlessly fascinating nebbishness and awkwardness. In an early scene, Jake simply walks to his car and jumps in the driver’s seat, yet Wasson manages to turn this casual action into one of the most amusing instances of purposefully bad acting. This unquestionably intended ridiculousness in fact informs an audience of the approach required by the entire film: just as it is difficult to take this ludicrous failed actor and naïve man seriously, Body Double itself is better enjoyed with a grain of salt. Right before Jake goes to his car, he orders a hot dog from a street stand that De Palma shoots from the side before gliding to its front. With this voluptuous tracking shot, »
- The Film Stage
3 items from 2016
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