Monday, September 25, 2006

The Rip Off Artist as Genius

I can call myself among a new generation of film fans and filmmakers to revere BLOW OUT (1981) as a masterpiece. Or, at least, I can claim myself among Pauline Kael, Quentin Tarantino, Collider's Jeremy Smith, and Armond White (among others) who revere this film. Watching the ending, you see the metacommentary (pretty excplicit as it my be) that the artist must take his own personal demons and apply them to their art, even if it tears them up inside. They have to, they must. Whether De Palma was applying those demons or commenting on the artistic process (though likely both) is immaterial, that revelation is one of the greatest in the history of cinema, and may prove that De Palma made more personal films that Scorsese, whose soul may have been in the slightly flat RAGING BULL. Or moreso than Spielberg, whose game keep getting more interesting with each passing year, but reveals a craftsman whose soul only lightly touches his final product. Yep, I'm intoxiated enough with BLOW OUT to suggest that it proves De Palma the best filmmaker of his generation.