The true story of gay lovers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr. who kidnapped and murdered a child in the early 1920s for kicks. The plot covers the months before the crime, the ... See full summary »
A dramatization of the shocking Barbara Daly Baekeland murder case, which happened in a posh London flat on Friday 17 November 1972. The bloody crime caused a stir on both sides of the Atlantic and remains one of the most memorable American Tragedies...
In the Yorkshire countryside, working-class tomboy Mona meets the exotic, pampered Tamsin. Over the summer season, the two young women discover they have much to teach one another, and much to explore together.
Cal and Aaron are two brothers whose relationship is clearly very troubled. Cal forms a friendship with a young man, Cassius, from a very different background (including the fact that he is... See full summary »
Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero," Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away. After the event, a documentary in cheesy lurid colors asks what ... See full summary »
Vadik Chernyshov is an impoverished dreamer who spends his life drifting though Moscow with a video camera, hoping to shoot footage that will interest Western press agencies. He falls in ... See full summary »
Sergey Bodrov Jr.,
The true story of gay lovers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr. who kidnapped and murdered a child in the early 1920s for kicks. The plot covers the months before the crime, the investigation, trial and final fate of the two men. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film was shot in two different blocks of time: first in October-November or 1990, then in August 1991. Craig Chester had to grow his hair back out after shaving it for the prison scenes, and then had his head shaved again when more prison scenes had to be filmed. The very first scenes shot was the kidnapping and the call from the phone booth. See more »
It is stated during the epilogue that Compulsion, film made about the Loeb & Leopold case, was released in 1958. The movie came out in 1959. See more »
In this modern version of the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder case of the 1920s, "Swoon" stresses the gay angle, relative to "Compulsion" (1959), a film of the same story, but burdened by the watchful eye of the censors associated with the moralistic Hays Code. Actual court records do in fact indicate that the relationship or bond between these two guys was primarily sexual.
Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb apparently had a masochistic pact. And "Swoon" asks the question: which guy was in control? The answer seems to be that they alternated control. Also, compared to "Compulsion", more attention is given to the actual murder of the teenage boy.
This film is quite stylized. Archival images and lyrical cutaways unrelated to the story are used because they are thematically relevant. Further, some scenes are intended as dreams. And non-period piece elements add textural perspective.
The real Nathan Leopold is shown in historical footage, first as a young man at about the time of the actual killing. He is shown in a sequence with a group of fellow ornithologists. And near the end of the film, he is shown as an older man, having been released from prison.
"Swoon" was shot in B&W. Images are a tad grainy, maybe deliberately so, as part of the film's visual style. Casting and acting are fine. I did not care for the background music. It's too whimsical and kooky sounding, given the subject matter. But the music does contribute to the film's overall flighty, giddy tone, reflected in the lack of emotional involvement of the characters. Further, the killing of the young boy is perfunctory and nonchalant.
The film's peculiar tone and mood I found annoying. Yet, it's probably consistent with the mindset of these two peculiar criminals, two guys, both cerebral and intelligent, completely lacking both in conscience and in a sense of moral principles.
Overall, compared to "Compulsion", "Swoon" is more direct, and perhaps a tad more thematically compelling.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?