A deliciously tawdry burlesque B-side to Dressed to Kill; a composite of all manner of borrowings, nods & derivations - before they are skewered and exposed for what they are not (quite). The hilarious lacerations of filmmaking & indeed film-watching make for an outrageously effective double-take on filmic convention & artificiality, screwing genre construction & expectation with gleeful cheek. More fun than the A.
It took a while, but I'm finally onboard with De Palma's delightfully perverse position on life vs. cinema. BODY DOUBLE is undoubtedly the trashiest film he has made. Now, why do we really watch movies? To comprehend life or its great mysteries? Nope. We watch to dream with our eyes open. Pure cinema is pleasure. And unlike real life, in cinema you can have it all—including Melanie Griffith. Because why the hell not.
A great film about voyeurism and the deception of viewing (which takes place on nearly every level of the work). Noteworthy are not only the Hitchcock citations - mainly from "Rear Window" and "Vertigo" - but also the sophisticated discourses about film as a medium of art that are used as ironic moments to delay the action (and may be identified by De Palma's strategies to create a special kind of artificiality).
The R-rated, post-modern pastiche of 'Rear Window'. It takes De Palma's directorial panache to evoke sympathy for the voyeuristic anti-hero. A playful satire that parodies its references as much as it reveres them. Plausibility intentionally lacking.
Dreamlike, belonging to the realm of pure cinema. De Palma is so good he even hides the key to the mystery in the title, and yet we overlook it. Like Jake, we're absorbed by all the mesmerizing information presented, always conditioned by his limited perspective. For some time nothing but pure tension seems to exist as we figure out the convoluted plot along with him; the film's style unravelling it organically.
Everything brilliant and frustrating about De Palma: the staging is outstanding, the camera hypnotic, the humor cheeky, and the story rich with contrasting ideas about identity, reality, fantasy, gender, and whether you can trust your own eyes (or your own TV screen). But then it arrives at a place that feels oddly slight, like a Vertigo rip that replaces Hitchcock's soulfulness with sarcasm and calls it a day.
I tend to like his De Palma's films that aren't tributes to Hitchcock more but this is one of his best in that category because it plays with Hitch's themes of voyeurism/obsession in ways he couldn't have done when he was making films. The extended dialogue free suspense sequences are some of BD's best.
Brian De Palma tackled ideas of perception, reality, and audience complicity in this intense lurid riff on Alfred Hitchcock about an out of work actor who accidentally witnesses a murder while spying on a beautiful neighbor. Elements of REAR WINDOW and VERTIGO inform De Palma's winking, self effacing critique of the porn industry 1980's Hollywood, where nothing is real and everything is an empty illusion.