Cinematically Kubular

Ramblings about cinema and whatever else I'm thinking at the time!

Tag: Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom – A Quick Peek

So, in the previous post I recommended Peeping Tom, a British film directed by Michael Powell and released in 1960. I’m conscious that I didn’t really go any deeper than link to a trailer I found on YouTube. If, after having watched the trailer you’re still unsure/not convinced I feel I should explain the reasons for my recommendation (my good taste obviously not being reason enough).

There are probably two reasons I recommended Peeping Tom. The first of those reasons is that it’s fantastic. The second is it’s historical importance to the development of ‘horror’ cinema. To be honest, I’m surprised it didn’t find it’s way onto BFI’s Greatest Films poll this year. Though it’s reassuring to see Michael Powell appear in the top 250 multiple times. Anyone who has seen Scream 4 (2011) will have heard it referenced along with Suspiria (1977), and Psycho (1960).

Peeping Tom shocked audiences and critics alike on release and received serious negative criticism – some sources claim enough to damage Powell’s British career. Even David Cronenberg’s Videdrome (1983) doesn’t attack/identify the audience in as direct a way as Peeping Tom. Through editing, symbolism and point of view the film not only identifies the audience with the role of the murderer but then proceeds to make the act of voyeurism equal to rape.

In today’s culture TV programs such as Big Brother are popular viewing and Paparazzi make a living by stalking celebrities to sate our constant desire for more knowledge/gossip of their daily lives. It’s my opinion that Peeping Tom is not only wonderfully entertaining, it’s also just as (if not more) relevant now as it was when it was released. And for those with an interest, Peeping Tom helped form the future of the slasher genre and laid the groundwork for films such as Dario Argento’s Profondo Rosso (1975) and OPERA (1987).

NB

Profondo Rosso and OPERA are usually released as Deep Red and Terror at the Opera in the UK, respectively.

First Post

So, it’s a while since I bothered with a website or blog… and it doesn’t appear I currently get any useful hosting services from my ISP (probably why they’re cheap) so here I am, on wordpress.com!

“But, whyyyyyy?” I hear you ask. Well, over the last few months I’ve been rediscovering my love for cinema (or film, if you prefer). Along the way I’ve found myself getting involved in some old arguments again such as “Is it fair to refer to Uma Thurman as androgynous?”, “How do we define androgyny?” and “Do we impose our own understanding of gender on the screen or is it imposed on us, by the film – or the industry?”

Firstly, in reference to the Uma Thurman question, personally, I don’t think it is fair. But it’s interesting how often I hear it or how shocked people seem to feel when I disagree. It’s made me wonder if there’s simply a film I haven’t seen or if my understanding/idea of gender and androgyny are somewhat out of sync – and if so, why? However, I don’t at all intend to deal with any of this immediately.

I’ve been far more interested, to be honest, in the films of Dario Argento. Over the last 2-3 weeks I’ve watched everything he has directed (excluding The Five Days (1973)) from The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970),  to Opera (1987). Argento is a fascinating director, one that I would recommend to anyone interested in watching good films. Perhaps it isn’t a coincidence I find him so interesting, when two of his key themes are the relationship between the audience and the film and also gender.

For now though, I desperately need a cuppa. So I’m off to put the kettle on and read another essay methinks.

Oh, also. If anyone’s interested in a recommendation, if you haven’t already seen Peeping Tom (1960) I strongly urge you to.

Here’s the trailer: