Friday, December 5, 2008

D'Palma in the Building

Brian D'Palma is a genius. Most people know this because of Scarface or Carrie. But the real reason is this scene from 1980's Dressed to Kill.

From the gleaming, soft glow of Kate's (a very MILF-esque Angie Dickinson) coat to the shining light bouncing off Bobbi's scary ass switchblade, DePalma is the master of reflection and lighting. The whole film is based on the idea of reflection-- Kate's reflection on her repressed sexuality, Liz's reflection on prostitution, and Dr. Elliot/Bobbi's reflection on his gender--and this singular scene physically manifests that theme so perfectly. The mirrored elevator allows everything to gleam with an angelic halo-like light. Even the bracelet on Kate's dying hand, as she reaches out for help and liberation, shines beautifully. This contrasts with the brutality of the murder, and really drives the idea of reflection home.

He's so smooth...

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