Saturday, July 9, 2011

Auto Focused.

My super-talented husband, actor, director and voiceover artist Jonathan Chance, was taking pics the other night, including the new one on my blog. But then he looked like he was having too much fun, and what wife wants that? So I snatched the camera and snapped some pics of him.

Shutter to think, these actually look pretty cool:

All of this photo-opping has made me think of some films that I really love, where the true horror takes place behind the lens.

Peeping Tom (1960)

Two British directors make landmark films that come out in the same year. Both films contain such unfathomable scenes of groundbreaking terror and suspense that your 1960 self would (rightfully) assume that each would evoke critical proclamations of sheer celluloid brilliance and—subsequently—launch their respective directors' careers into the cinematic stratosphere. Right?

Unfortunately, the release of  Peeping Tom, which predated Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho by a month, did not signal the start of a long, successful career for its director, Michael Powell. In fact, to say that the opposite happened would be an understatement. Nearly 30 years after Peeping Tom was blasted by the critics, the tale of a killer photographer with an eye for the ladies finally received its long-overdue closeup (thanks to Martin Scorsese), and now sits pretty atop many movie reviewers' Best-of-All-Time lists.

Shutter (2004)

For the photographer protagonist in this Thai thriller—my favorite of all the Asian genre films to surface in the U.S. since Ringu circled our shores in the late 1990s—every picture tells a story, and his goes from bad to worse in just under 100 minutes. If we're supposed to keep our friends close, and our enemies closer, then this guy is screwed, because in his case, they all pretty much suck. Like the American remake, I presume. Say cheese!

Blowup (1966)

My husband introduced me to this one, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and loosely based on real-life Sixties camera cassanova David Bailey. It's safe to assume that Bailey never inadvertently captured a murder on film, but it makes for a good premise in this film, which is, admittedly, a slow burner (albeit a sexy and at times, creepy one). Good thing David Hemmings is super hot in it.