Michael Powell described it as ""a very tender film, a very nice one". By way of a contrast, the critic Derek Hill commented that "the only really satisfactory way to dispose of Peeping Tom would be to shovel it up and flush it swiftly down the nearest sewer". What do you think?

 


Comments

Luke
03/12/2009 01:28

I thought it was very clever the way a British boy with British parents grew to be a creepy German man.

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Scott
03/12/2009 11:48

Clearly you've never heard of 'Foreign Accent Syndrome' (and I'm not making this up).

In truth - Carl Boehm's accent was a concern when casting, but Powell decided that it rendered him even stranger, so it stayed. I like it - it (to me) renders him somehow more childlike.

Don't you love the bit when Helen's asking him for his advice about the photos in the book and he says "are you free tomorrow night ... I hope I am". Genius.

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Joseph
03/14/2009 00:56

Well. It was ok. I thought anyway. Obvious comparisons to Psycho come to mind. Which, I think, is a better work. Aesthetically, it was pretty special. Lovely pastel pallette which clashed brilliantly with the protaganist's quotidian character. In the same way as Rosemary's Baby does. That was great.

Mr. Lewis was a really cool character too. And the sequences where he was filming on his 8mm were really good. Expecially the opening.

I guess, at face value, I didn't like it at all. A lot of the acting had a nasty "b" quality to it. Real Oliver Twist. Which was an immediate turn off.

BUT, the more analytically I look at it, the better it is. I didn't really notice the way Powell plays with what a movie is until you mentioned it Doc. But that stuff is great.

Thematically dealing with voyeurism right. Totally relevant to the year that Ben Hur slayed the Acadamy Awards. Peeping Tom is kind of calling everyone creeps at a time when our voyeuristic tendancies were at an all time high.

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Romain
03/15/2009 21:06

I agree with a lot of what you said Joe. The film reminded me of pieces of other films, part Psycho, part Cache (hidden) and part Blow up. The acting was a bit dodgy at times, a little over the top, but for all its flaws I found the film remained somewhat intriguing. I thought it was really fascinating that Mark is aware of his condition and that he exercises enough self-control to prevent himself from seeing Helen when she is scared. I also thought it was great that the murderous film-maker kills his victims with a knife that extends from his tripod. *chuckle*
Most of all I enjoyed the opening sequence shot in first-person. It's amazing how much more interesting a shot becomes when it is divided into 4 by a cross-hair. Fantastic.

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Scott
03/15/2009 21:20

Totally on the money. My favourite bit is still when Helen (who I had a crush on) runs at Mark and nearly impales him in the process. Whoops.

But yes - it's one thing to inhabit voyeurism and derive pleasure from it, and quite another for a film (a dirty little film, if we believe the critics) to call us on our secret and obscene pleasures.

So - Romain - do you want to explore (publicly) why a shot becomes more interesting (pleasurable?) when it's bisected by the cross-hairs?

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Romain
03/16/2009 02:29

Thanks Scott, you make me sound like some sort of creepy cross-hair fetishist. I don't really know why I found the shot interesting. Perhaps you have an idea/explanation for this?

A crush on Helen eh? Hehehe...

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Joseph
03/16/2009 04:19

Romain hides his NRA membership broach.

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Scott
03/17/2009 17:22

Well, Romain, there is a sound psychoanalytic reason why a kind of pleasure is found in the crosshair shot but it demonstrates something that Powell's film is very keen to stress: cinema going is a kind of perversion, a way in which 'normal' pleasure (i.e: culturally safe / state-sanctioned good 'ole hetero pleasure) is diverted and, instead, we can pleasure from the power that comes from look at others who much proceed about their private lives unaware that we are watching them.

In that case, doesn't Mark represent all of us? What's the difference between the violence of his camera, say, and the violence of editing which also cuts bodies into pieces?

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Scott
03/17/2009 17:23

Ps - I love the NRA have a broach - not a badge. Having a gun cancels out any other 'less than masculine' acoutrements.

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Romain
03/17/2009 19:35

Yeah, I guess you're right. Rather than having a normal shot which we watch without thinking, the cross-hair is reminiscent of a sniper scope or gun, which makes us feel like we are watching someone else.

Oh, and you're spot-on about the NRA. It's okay to wear a broach as long as you're holding a gun. And if some of the lads want to put on dresses, that's okay as long as they each hold two guns to balance it out. It's not gay if you're holding guns.

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Scott Wilson
03/17/2009 19:38

It's not just that you're watching someone else. It's that you are watching through someone watching someone else.

Are you allowed to hold each other's guns?

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Romain
03/18/2009 00:28

To me, the cross-hair makes me conscious that I am watching. Therefore I am watching myself watching through someone else watching. Hehehe...

NRA policy states that it is essential to hold a gun in order to know it properly. Therefore what better way to know someone than to hold their gun. This is acceptable as long as members' guns do not collide in the process. This can lead to some awkwardness...

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Joseph
03/18/2009 16:17

Total Being John Malkovich syndrome right? Thats why the sequences that take place inside Malkovich are so great (and toast craving inducing). Whose eyes are we looking through? Our eyes first, but then are we looking through our own eyes or Diaz/Cussack's when we're in Malko's head? Are we sitting there with them in his head, or are we now inhabiting the head of someone in someone's head? And that's not even taking into consideration the Jonze factor. Then where also does Charlie Kauffman's head (the greatest head of our time) fit into this?

Christ, on paper, it looks like when a camera is plugged into a monitor, then you film the monitor and in the monitor you see the monitor with the monitor inside it with the monitor inside it with the monitor inside it with the monitor inside it etc...

I type this in the hub, the guy next to me is watching videos of super smash brothers fights. Does he like watching the fights? Or is he getting off on the fact that the genuine gamers are having fun. Or is this an italian plumber fetish?

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