18 septembre 2007

Blow Out

Blow Out clarified, for me, why DePalma is so celebrated by a segment of cinephiles... on a shot by shot basis, there is some very interesting camerawork; closeups are frequently used to great, intense effect; there's a referentiality in the film that goes beyond playfulness to support the narrative force of the film; at times, the montage/composition/sound design/lighting is in perfect service to the emotional response the viewer should have. Yet I am still unconverted to DePalma as a master, because his craftsmanship is successful only on the shot or sequence level. In Blow Out, at least, he doesn't do an effective job of maintaining narrative momentum from scene to scene, and the necessary build of suspense falls short. In a movie that should been more intense than The Conversation, I still end up feeling a bit flat. For someone who frequently works in a Hitchcockian vein, the element that is most clearly missing from DePalma's work is the one that forms the basis of every frame for Hitchcock - the emotional narrative of the film.

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