Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Movie: Femme Fatale (2002)

Femme Fatale is one of the latest efforts by Brian De Palma, whose films I've generally liked, with some exceptions. This wasn't one of those exceptions.

Femme Fatale was made in France, possibly because De Palma couldn't raise the money in the USA. There's certain Europeanness in the film, so I'm not sure if it suits the American taste. There's something that reminds me of a Luc Besson or a Jan Kounen in this.

The film is full of technical trickstery and magistery that's characteristic of De Palma: camera drives, odd angles, long shots, shots through different filters, all that. The plot - what I could make of it - was suited to the feverish camera work. Femme fatale of the title is a career criminal, sexy as hell (played by Rebecca Rominj, who looks a bit too much the early 2000's, but I don't mind), who's on the loose from her fellow gangsters. The plot is full of twists one just can't see coming - and the last one is actually pretty absurd, but I think it fits the general mood of the film. There's some thematics on voyeurism that's also characteristic of De Palma, but I'm not sure what De Palma wants to say with the film. People - especially women - are being watched and this watching becomes more mechanistic via surveillance cameras and such, but then what? Women can also take advantage of them being watched, but it's unclear what kind of nature De Palma is saying this vantage point could be. This kind of uncertainty of thematics is also characteristic of De Palma.

More Overlooked Films at Todd Mason's blog here. (For once I managed to do this in time!)

1 comment:

Todd Mason said...

Incoherence and absurdity rule with De Palma, as far as I'm concerned, but with Romijn, at least, he gives us a protagonist we can watch rather easily. And how does the easily-seduced actress know that her ridiculous jewels have been replaced? Why would we want to know such a thing? Just for starters...