Monday, February 18, 2013

Peeping Tom

A disturbed photographer (Karlheinz Bohm), damaged by his over-analytical psychiatrist father during childhood, devises a method of capturing women at their most horrifyingly expressionistic moment possible, with his handheld camera which doubles as a bayonet. While becoming a suspect after an extra (Moira Shearer) on the film set he has been contracted on disappears, he begins a relationship with the kind young woman (Anna Massey) living in the flat below as he starts work on his latest masterpiece. Following a  career of astounding, against the grain projects, many with his longtime partner Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell's "Peeping Tom" was panned as trash by a stuffy 1960's Britain and essentially marked the end of the distinguished director's career. In the passing years, the tide of opinion has shifted, and Powell's disquieting statement on voyeurism and psychoanalysis has been heralded as the unflinching masterpiece it is. Bohm gives a shocking, non-emotive performance and Massey is likewise excellent in this uncompromising and frightening picture.