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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

at the Loews "peeping Tom"

Friday, September 24 - 8 PM
Peeping Tom
Starring Carl Boehm, Moira Shearer.  Directed by Michael Powell.
(1960, 106 mins.)  Unrated, but not recommended for children.

This British-made film premiered within a few months of "Psycho," and the two are often compared.  Indeed, "Peeping Tom," about a psychologically damaged young man driven to kill women, is every bit the dark story of madness and murder that "Psycho" is.  It also shares themes of voyeurism and repressed desire with "Rear Window" and "Vertigo."  But if those three films ultimately cemented Hitchcock's reputation as "The Master" of psychological thriller and horror films, "Peeping Tom" all but destroyed the career of Michael Powell, who had been one of Britain's top directors. It was denounced and banned as prurient exploitation, and all but forgotten until Martin Scorsese lauded it as groundbreaking and personally arranged for its re-release. It is both more frank and yet more subtle in its exploration of its themes than any of Hitchcock's works. And it is also a provoking meditation on the appeal of cinema, which is inherently voyeuristic. A half century later, it retains its considerable psychological impact.  Don't miss this rare screening.