Body Double (1984)
Body Double, Brian De Palma. 1984. Film as a medium has barely evolved from its roots in penny-arcade peep-shows so films about peeping create a powerful resonance. Rear Window (1954) and The Conversation (1974) are classics in the genre, but BD takes it to the source by placing the narrative in the milieu of B-movies and hard-core porn. Frankie went to Hollywood and a star was born in all-nude Melanie Griffith, but it is De Palma, who wrote, directed, and produced, that created the peep-o-rama that we can’t quite forget. Weird editing, odd cinematography, fantastic set-pieces (the “panty stealing” chase sequence through a mirror-laden, high-class shopping mall is a masterpiece) all compensate for a one-dimensional plot. Craig Wasson’s turn as the main character (claustrophobic vampire, murder witness, porn star, hero) is especially notable.