For the record, the worst De Palma is Mission To Mars
The Fury is great, taking the telekinetic and teen angst aspects of Carrie and building a wider paranoia thriller around it (with some very interesting, albeit brief, allusions to the Middle East).Finch wrote:Forgot about Obsession, another DePalma I haven't seen yet. From the little I've read, The Fury seems another "straight horror" (for the lack of a better phrase) like Carrie which I also like a lot (I think to date the only DePalmas I wasn't too thrilled with were Mission Impossible, Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale). Thanks Dom.
Though you have to be OK with this being one of De Palma's most extreme, and extremely beautiful, operatic films. Even discounting the finale, which is fake and highly amusing, yet also disturbing in its sheer excessiveness (one of the few things to give me nightmares as a kid - I think like the final scene in Scanners I have issues with beautiful rooms having something horrible occur in them that will sort of taint that environmental space forever more!) this is the one where you get the slow motion taken to enormous lengths, especially in Gillian's escape from the clinic or her vision of Robin. It is also a film where people don't just do anything by half: they move as if drugged, or lash out wildly. And they don't just bleed, they spray gouts of blood everywhere.
I concede however that I might be biased with regard to this film as I have been in love with the main trio of actresses in this film ever since first seeing it: Amy Irving (after being the only survivor of Carrie I often wonder if she relished the chance to play havoc with telekinetic powers herself in this one!), Carrie Snodgress as Hester (her wonderful getting-to-know-you scene with Irving's Gillian is both cheesy and sincerely wonderful at the same time: playing in the park, playing Pong on their television and having a great ice cream and topping mid-day snack that I am still incredibly envious of, and which always makes me hungry!) and Fiona Lewis as Robin's substitute doctor-confidant-lover.
I agree, and in a way it is a shame that the more comedic stuff is confined to the early section of the film with Douglas's character caught up in getaway antics. The only real flaw I can find in the film is that there are not too many of those kinds of scenes in the later stages of the picture (in a darker way the death scenes end up performing that function!) Once the main plot starts up in earnest (and particularly once Hester is out of the picture) the film for understandable reasons becomes darker and more tragic.Randall Maysin wrote:I think it's one of the best examples of "garbage cinema" i've ever seen. there's so many terrible things in it that are like bad movie primal scenes, like the black homeless guy going "HO-LEE SHIT" and dodging cars twice in succession as Kirk Douglas and his pursuers drive after each other down the homeless guy's alleyway. Or the bizarre encouraging patter given to Kirk Douglas by one of the people he ties up. Really delightful.
In a sense the couple in the apartment that Douglas briefly takes hostage early on in the film have no place later in the film, as the film narrows its focus from a wider view (of organisations and politics) down into a claustrophobic focus on only those characters relevant to the climax. From a school, to a specialist psychic institution to a private estate, to a bedroom. That narrowing, increasingly obsessive approach to environment and individual characters can only end in liberating destruction.
But interestingly the film never really plays as funny. There are comedic moments or exchanges but they are almost always brutally and immediately undercut by the seriousness of the situation. For example, in addition to those great quotes described above by Randall Maysin there is also that great walkie-talkie exchange (with great whip-pans between the speakers!) that manages to humanise the faceless henchmen of the evil organisation and is sandwiched between two of the biggest setpieces of the film
Man (on roof): Top Guy 2, this is Top Guy 1. Do you have any coffee left?
Man (on street): Top Guy 1, that is an affirmative. I have got about a cup of lukewarm coffee left. Do you want to negotiate a trade?
Man (on roof): Top Guy 2, I have one Hershey bar to trade.
Man (on street): Top Guy 1, I read you. Is that with or without almonds?
Man (in car across the street): Alright Asshole 1 and Asshole 2. Stop cluttering up this frequency.