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  #1  
Old 03-12-2011, 06:07 PM
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Default PEEPING TOM Michael Powell 1960

Michael Powell's PEEPING TOM.
What a classic eh?
As we all know,this film repulsed the critics and flung director Powell on the scrapheap.
The first time I laid eyes on this film was back in the '90's when Warner released it as part of their Terror Vision collection.I didn't quite know what to make of it and never watched it again until I bought it on DVD many years later.
Of course,I now consider it a classic of British film,a daring cinematic landmark,(Far more so than Hitchcock's Psycho IMO).
The garishly coloured filmstock,the sleaziness and the perfect performances make for a winner all round.

The Optimum Blu Ray which was released at the tail end of last year was superb,and a contender for disc of the year,and I don't say that lightly,considering some of the staggering releases that appeared last year.

Any fellow fans?

Do you rate it?

Discuss all things voyeuristic here.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:45 PM
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Peeping Tom is a masterpiece of horror and one of my favourite genre films. I can see why some critics hated it as it does make you occasionally empathise with a psychopathic killer and realise that filmmaking is an obsession that could become dangerous, but it is a brilliant piece of direction and Leo Marks' screenplay is extremely intelligent.

The performances by Karl Boehm, Anna Massey and Moira Shearer are all superb and it should be considered, as directors including Martin Scorsese believe it to be, one of the finest horror films ever made.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:18 PM
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Another favourite of mine. Extremely controversial when first released this is now (quite rightly) heralded as a classic piece of cinema.

While voyeurism was a pretty taboo subject to explore at the time, the way in which the subject matter is explored and executed is a testament both the Director and the writing.

It's such a shame Michael Powell's career never recovered after making it.

The Optimum/Studio Canal Blu-Ray is a must buy, too.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:24 PM
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It is a fantastic disc which I reviewed some time ago -- it's definitely worth an upgrade from either the Criterion Collection release or the R2 Special Edition.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:03 AM
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I'm a big fan of this and Powell's other work. I especially like the scenes of Mark as a child and Powell as his father conducting experiments on him. I also really like the general seediness of the glamour photography scenes. They have a certain reserved grubbiness that is very English.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:32 AM
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I had my reservations when I first went to watch Peeping Tom for the first time, turns out they were completely unfounded it and it is indeed superb. Theres just something about the combination of the postcard titilation combined with how dark it is. It really went for the buttoned down English gent with relish.

Carl Boehm's accent lifts his character outside of everyone around him even more, its never explained (with good reason, it was never meant to be there in the first place) but it adds so much that I could not watch the film without his Mark.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:32 PM
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Mark generates sympathy in the viewer,until his facial expressions change when that camera starts whirring.

Yeah,as mentioned the grubiness IS very British.The garish colours and lighting used just add to it.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:09 PM
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Isn't the first line the prostitutes saying "It'll be a quid"? Can't get much more seedier than that!
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:10 PM
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Yeah,a bargain to be sure!

I'll bet audiences were passing out at that in 1960!
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:38 AM
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It was probably lines like that that rubbed the critics up the wrong way which, with the lurid Eastmancolor photography, makes everything look enhanced and (in certain scenes) tacky and a little dirty. This was all done on purpose because there were areas of London that looked exactly like that but, as the critics hadn't been there, they reacted extremely badly.

It's a shame, but it's good to hear Thelma Schoonmaker say that Michael Powell never regretted making the film even though it irreparably damaged his career.
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