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Point Blank

USA 1967. Dir: John Boorman. 92 min. 35mm

John Boorman’s fabulous, fractured 1967 thriller, from the crime novel The Hunter by Donald E. Westlake (aka Richard Stark), is a key link between vintage Hollywood film noir and the paranoid conspiracy films of the 1970s. Lee Marvin, in a slam-bang performance, is Walker, a hard-nosed hoodlum double-crossed after a daring heist: he’s shot point-blank and left for dead. Walker survives the assault (or does he?) and sets out to exact revenge. Angie Dickinson co-stars. Boorman’s expressive, rhythmic film, informed by the European experiments of Resnais and Godard, and subverting linear time with complex flashbacks and flashforwards, is both a terrific (and terrifically violent) thriller and, perhaps, a dazzling, dreamy evocation of consciousness. Soderbergh’s The Limey, Nolan’s Memento, and Fincher’s Zodiac are all in its debt. The stunning architectural visuals, in widescreen, are by Philip Lathrop. Godard’s Made in U.S.A. was an unauthorized adaptation of another Westlake book.


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REVIEWS

"A landmark in the history of the crime movie."

The Observer | full review

"John Boorman's classic, disorienting thriller still has all the strange menace and cool intrigue it did in 1967."

The Guardian | full review