Curated by Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Brian de Palma uses the basic structure of Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic Blow-Up (1966) to explore the deep cynicism and paranoia Americans felt post-Watergate and the Kennedy assassination.
John Travolta (in his best performance) stars as Jack Terry a sound recorder for a sleazy B movie company whose stock and trade is exploitation films. One evening when he is standing on a bridge capturing night sounds, he inadvertently records and witnesses a car accident. What starts of as an apparent accident however soon takes on political and nefarious dimensions, putting his life and a woman (Nancy Allen) he saved from the accident at risk.
Not unlike Antonioni’s haunted photographer who keeps on enlarging a photo he took in order to uncover a supposed crime, Terry replays the sound recording again and again, his obsession leading down a destructive and ultimately dangerous path.
De Palma however saves his blackest and bleakest joke for last as an incongruous scene from a trashy horror film becomes a haunting expression of hopelessness.
EYES WITHOUT A FACE
The Eyes Without A Face film series is part of our program of ancillary events surrounding our presentation of the 1984 stage production.
Director Brian De Palma (1981)