Recovering Rave Reviews For De Palma’s Blow Out

Tonight, I watched Brian De Palma’s Blow Out, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I’ve known for a while now that De Palma’s early work is cherished among cinephiles as being made with a very particular set of skills. But until recently, I had pretty much only seen his big picture gangster efforts like Scarface, The Untouchables and Carlito’s Way — films that suggest De Palma is a good but nothing special director. I also knew he was capable of dreck like Mission Impossible.

But starting last month with Sisters and following now with Blow Out, I am converted. There truly was a time when it was only sensible to defer to him as “the filmmaker.”  I’m ready to explore his era.

In some post-viewing research tonight, I discovered that Blow Out’s Wikipedia entry notes that Pauline Kael “gave the film one of her few unconditional raves.” Unfortunately, the citation on the page has no link to an ungated online version of the article:

But the Kael review is online! It’s just not in an expected place such as the New Yorker’s website. Criterion, which released a bonus-packed anniversary edition of the film this year, has posted Kael’s review. Oh does she rave: “Compared with Blow Out, even the good pictures that have opened this year look dowdy.”

Perhaps, I will make my first ever Wikipedia edit tomorrow.

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2 Responses to Recovering Rave Reviews For De Palma’s Blow Out

  1. Josh E. says:

    If you like Blow Out, then you should see the film that inspired it: Blow Up. Then see Francis Ford Coppola’s pseudo-remake of the film The Conversation.

    • mattcorley says:

      I’ve seen The Conversation. It was great, though I’d wager that Blow Out was a better film. Still need to see Blow Up, which has been trapped in the mid-section of my Netflix queue for years.

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