Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Classic Trailers: PEEPING TOM

     Wednesday's Classic Film Trailers is presenting a film I recently saw in a beautiful new print. A film that, the first time I saw it, I did not really enjoy or get much out of it, but this recent screening brought much more importance to the films power and craft. A film that put one of England's great directors out of commission for the rest of his career and that honestly rivals Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho for voyeurism and eerie parental issues. Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960), released the same year as Psycho, is a film that challenges the viewer immensely. A film that questions and puts an eye to the audience, in that, are we not just as voyeuristic as the main character. We watch films and by doing so  are looking into other people's lives, ideas and predicaments. Much can be said of this film and the creepy effects it has are pure genius from the great Michael Powell.
     Photographer and cameraman Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm), who works on movie sets and records films for his own pleasures, films women and then kills them with a knife stuck in his tripod. A psychopath with daddy issues. His father, played by Michael Powell, made home films when Mark was a boy and made his son do unsettling things, such as spying on teenagers making out. Trust me, these old films are some of the creepiest moments in the film and give us the mindset and sexual repression that Mark is going through. His only sexual outlet is to film woman as he kills them. This film examines the voyeuristic endeavours of an unsettled, demented mind and the violent actions that allow an outlet of sort, for his uncomfortable view of the world. Powell's film was trashed by critics for its frank exploration of voyeurism and violence, and ruined his career. Not until the mid 80s, when Martin Scorsese began showing the film at festivals, did the film begin to receive the critical acclaim it so rightfully deserves. Powell, along with his co-director Emeric Pressburger, directed masterpieces such as The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, The Tales of Hoffman and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, and Peeping Tom is yet another masterpiece from this legendary director.

Photo credits by The Criterion Collection and video by YouTube.

No comments:

Post a Comment