Great Neon Noir – BODY DOUBLE
BODY DOUBLE is a b-movie excuse for De Palma to let loose.
Some people dislike this 1984 DePalma thriller, a Vertigo/Rear Window tribute transported to seedy Los Angeles, co-starring Melanie Griffith as Holly Body – an aptly named porn star who becomes embroiled in a murder plot – and featuring the largely unknown Craig Wasson as a claustrophobic loser who finds himself the target of an elaborate frame-up. I personally love it – as a guilty pleasure you don’t get much better than young undressed Melanie Griffith, out-of-its mind camerawork, a lead character so plagued with neurosis and guilt he makes Woody Allen look like Charlton Heston, and layers of homage and self-reference that remind us how manipulative the medium can be. De Palma is an amazing visualist, one of the best, but was at a turbulent point in his career: he had just made Scarface, would soon direct the Joe Piscopo dud Wise Guys, and then follow that one up with the classic The Untouchables. And this fluctuation continued through the 1990’s, when at the strike of the new century his fairy godfather Alfred Hitchcock turned his career into a pumpkin, once and for all. But during the 80’s he was still magic. Check out this amazing rear-projection to see the sort of eye candy this incredible movie-lover’s-movie has to offer: