I watched Peeping Tom again!
Thanks Mr Scorsese for rediscovering this British 1960 landmark film, which had been consigned to the garbage heap due to the condemnation of critics.
Watching this film is a master class. Where to begin?
An excellent original script by Leo Marks. Michael Powell directing at the height of his prowess, though ironically this film ruined his career, make it a blissfully lurid technicolor treat, a psychological foray into 1960s London just before the swinging 60s arrived. Layered in repression and fear of sex against the grim backdrop of postwar London, it literally peels away the grimy overcoat of the city to reveal its underbelly. To peek inside the mind of Mark, a serial killer who films his victims, is a remarkable study of voyeurism which clearly unsettled the critics for its docu-style realism. The film was overshadowed by Psycho which came out in the same year. Do not be fooled. Peeping Tom is every bit as good. British through and through, subtler and more complex psychologically, Psycho reeks of Pax America.
Creepy lead role of Mark is played brilliantly by actor Carl Boehm while the pseudo-love-interest is filled by the quintessentially prudish but inquisitive Anna Massey. Perhaps the greatest aspect of the film is its exploration of the nature of film itself and how it encourages us all into voyeurism. Mark makes us share in his Modus Operandi: he films his victims with his camera as he sets his lethal knife-tripod upon them. Thus, he films his victim´s terror at their moment of death, and even more heinous his mirror- mounted camera allows his victims to share in their experience!
A devilishly smart scene is staged on the film-set where Mark works as an Assistant Cameraman. He lures a B-move starlet played flirtatiously by Moira Shearer, and as she dances her way through their date in the silent film studio, Mark stages her to her death. Pure cinematic irony, and the best example I know. She has no clue what fate will befall her, but we do. And we want to know how! As we watch her dancing coquettishly with the painfully shy Mark, slowly but surely her confidence gives way to pure terror as he sets the scene to murder her.
I cannot praise this marvellous British movie enough. It surely belongs in the top ten of any serious movie buffs canon.