You are here

Point Blank

In cinemas 29 March

John Boorman’s American debut remains a landmark crime movie, mixing fast-paced, hard-hitting Hollywood action with European stylistic experimentation and cool, existential enquiry to lastingly intoxicating effect.

Heading up a slew of actors who can only be described as ‘iconic’, Lee Marvin is cast to career-best perfection as Walker, an old-school gangster left to die in Alcatraz after an otherwise successful heist. Like some anachronistic avenging angel, he returns to seek out those who betrayed him and retrieve his share of the loot from the outwardly respectable, strangely faceless ‘Organisation’. But does Walker belong, can he still function in this world?

Bringing a sharp outsider’s eye – and Philip Lathrop’s superb Scope compositions – to the strikingly angular cityscapes of Los Angeles and San Francisco, Boorman also deployed a teasingly fragmented chronology, innovative sound design and careful colour schemes to create a consistently surprising, acerbically witty and gripping narrative that finally constitutes a vengeful dream of vain desires. Though there have been subsequent adaptations of Donald Westlake’s The Hunter, this terse masterpiece remains by far the best, and still feels extraordinarily, exhilaratingly modern.

Geoff Andrew

Venues

17, 23 and 26 April
Filmhouse, Edinburgh

22-24 April
Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow

3-4 May
Ritzy Picturehouse, Brixton

8-9 May
Hackney Picturehouse, Hackney

From 10 May
Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth

13 May
Greenwich Picturehouse, Greenwich

19 May
Duke of Yorks Picturehouse, Brighton

26 May
Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge

30 May
Dukes, Lancaster

2 June
National Media Musum, Bradford

23-24 June
Cornerhouse, Manchester

Further reading

  • Towering visions: Point Blank - image

    Towering visions: Point Blank

    Films by Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and Nicolas Roeg all bear the influence of John Boorman’s strikingly modern 1967 thriller.

    Geoff Andrew

More information

You are here

Back to the top