Point Blank

British director John Boorman brought a European sensibility to a Los Angeles neo-noir: Point Blank is Antonioni plus violence, Francesco Rosi without politics. The title reverberates like a pun-point: blank. Lee Marvin is Walker, left for dead in an Alcatraz heist and now out to find the $93,000 he has coming. No more, no less, unless you count revenge. The trail leads to the City of Angels and the syndicate that runs it out of car lots and Santa Monica penthouses, the kind of places you know exist only with a little larceny. Picking up on the modern surface of his locale, Boorman takes a champagne-blonde color scheme to a hallucinatory degree, blonde on blond, like Angie Dickinson's bouffant and Marvin's silvery pate (here, we have the bad, the brunette, and the bald). Los Angeles is inherently horizontal. The payoff, visually and narratively, occurs in that storm drain affectionately known as the L.A. River, viewed from a bridge over imagined waters.

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