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Point Blank (free)

  • Vilas Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)
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A postscript to Cinematheque's summer series of Donald Westlake adaptations, 1967's Point Blank stars the stoic Lee Marvin as Walker, who, after being double-crossed and left for dead by his wife and best friend on Alcatraz, mysteriously reappears to get revenge and the $93,000 he's owed. Is he an unstoppable mythic force of revenge? A pawn of a crime boss trying to consolidate his power? Or is he just a dying man trying to reclaim his dreams? Using a disorienting editing style borrowed from the French New Wave, director John Boorman drops Westlake's beyond-hard-boiled noir plot into a surreal daytime LA nightmare landscape filled with flashbacks, fast-forwards, jump cuts and slow motion. Though not successful upon its initial release, Point Blank has gone on to become an art-house action landmark, with its taut dialogue, dazzling technical virtuosity, and Marvin's ultimate-bad-ass performance influencing directors such as Walter Hill and John Woo to push the limits of genre filmmaking. UW Cinematheque has managed to acquire a rare 35mm print which should show off the film in its widescreen glory at this presentation. —Ian Adcock

Earlier Event: September 8
Tatsuya Nakatani Gong Orchestra
Later Event: September 9
Snake On The Lake