Wednesday, September 19, 2012

But not sexy enough!

I'm willing to allow that Brian DePalma's new Passion may be complete lunacy, but this review from Glenn Kenny at least advances a theory of what DePalma is trying to do in recent films that makes about as much sense as anything I've read on the director lately. Posting the trailer seems too on the nose, you can see it here. (Kenny probably doesn't mean to include The Black Dahlia in his analysis, but his line about representations of behavior certainly connects with that film for me.)
And this, some will intuit, is in the service of saying something about The Way We Live Now. In a way the real world has caught up with a vision that De Palma has always been putting forward, one that he and his fellow movie brats intuited from Michael Powell's Peeping Tom perhaps: that we are always looking, and we are always looking not at what is, or more to the point, ought to be, in front of us, but at something we're putting in front of us, some screen containing some contrivance of what we would like to think is our desire. This vision has become, for DePalma, so distilled (some would say rarified) that his best work of the past twenty years or maybe even more (hey, I really LIKE Femme Fatale!) has almost everything to do with that idea and nothing to do with the way actual human beings behave or speak.

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