Tuesday, September 7, 2010

1968 - MURDER A LA MOD, entertaining early Brian DePalma film

It's all here for Brian De Palma fans, the unusual camera angles, the sick sense of humor, violence directed towards women, a fractured narrative style and the filmmaker as voyeur.  Murder A La Mod is Brian DePalma's first real film and incorporates almost all of his future favorite themes. 

For a film shot on a low budget and in black and white it's a pretty sophisticated piece of work.  De Palma uses the multiple narrative structure of Rashomon to present a killing (or maybe it's a killing) with multiple points of view.   He also throws in some really screwy humor with the actor William Finley playing some weirdo named Otto who may or may not have killed someone.  Then there's some Three Stooges like stuff with a real ice pick and a fake ice pick which keeps getting mixed up.

So what does it all mean?  Beats me, this film was made by a gifted young guy with a lot of film making talent and to put it mildly a rather strange outlook on life.

If you like Brian DePalma's films give this a look but don't go expecting one of his super slick studio films this isn't one of them.  However Murder A La Mod if a highly inventive and clever film by someone who knows how to put a film together.

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