Thursday, October 25, 2007

White of the Eye

Price: 2 bucks
Year: 1987
Length: 113 minutes
Writer/Director: Donald Cammell
Music: Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Some Dude from 10cc
Cast: David Keith, Cathy Moriarty, Alan Rosenberg, Art Evans, Danielle Smith, Alberta Watson




What a gloriously strange and haunting movie this one is. I can't really say I've ever seen a movie quite like it, although my inner Bill Zwecker makes me want to shortchange it with some "Zabriske Point meets Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer at a bar and Dario Argento follows them home" verbiage just to stick a nice plump ballpark frank in it.

Anyway, for me (and hopefully for you), the main reason to see this movie is that it is most likely the purest vision of a Donald Cammell movie that we are ever going to be given. This iconoclastic weirdo/genius famously suffered massive interference with his previous two movies, the druggy and strange and brilliant PERFORMANCE and the druggy and strange and somewhat less brilliant DEMON SEED. In fact, it is believed that his suicide was prompted by the massive studio interference in his fourth and final feature WILD SIDE (he blew his brains out and watched himself die slowly in a mirror over the course of the next 30 minutes). I guess something about only getting to make 4 movies over the course of 27 years and having 3 of them (but not WHITE OF THE EYE(!)) taken out of your hands and re-edited without your input must be very frustrating. So it goes . . .

Without being too specific . . .

This one is really super! The camerawork is all crazy! The music is spooky and trippy! The acting's great (especially David Keith)! The desert locations are evocative! The ending doesn't really make any sense, but who cares! It's hallucinatory! It's ambiguous! It all ends with a biiiiiig explosion! It's massively fucked up! David Keith sings George Jones! Alan Rosenberg sings Hot Chocolate! Danielle Smith kinda reminds me of Linda Manz!

In conclusion, see this movie. I'm still not actually sure that it's any good, but I've been debating that in my head all day and isn't that always better than knowing exactly how you feel about a movie. The ending is really over the top and contains at least one thing that in any other movie would elicit groans and disappointment; but given how the rest of this movie is so on point, it had me thinking that the problem lay with me and that I just needed to watch it again to figure it all out. Fuck it, I'm calling this one a masterpiece. I'm still not entirely sure why though. Maybe you can help me with that?

Here's a weird youtube video of the opening murder coupled with some footage cribbed from a documentary about Cammell that the IFC aired a few years back.

Get a shot of my pool in the back . . .

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