When Martin Scorsese brought Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom back from its longtime purgatory, the word on the street was that it was a piece of transgressive cinema from an acclaimed director, *before* Psycho, which caught a lot of hell it didn’t deserve, and largely ended its creator’s career.
What lingers about Peeping Tom is its sense of tragedy: its betrayal of trust. The magnificently dramatic collision of Anna Massey’s devoted and naive Helen, and Karlheinz Bohm’s Mark, an introverted, outsider (literally, he’s from another country) with a psychotic urge instilled in him by his father.
Peeping Tom wasn’t created with broad appeal in mind. When you get right down to it, Peeping Tom is essentially a rebellious statement made at a turning point in Powell’s career. It’s an obliteration of expectations; and career-wise a costly one.
On this episode of Captive Eye (formerly Diabolique Webcast), writer/producer/director J. P. Ouillette and Prof. David Kleiler join me to discuss director Michael Powell’s intriguingly meticulous 1960 classic.
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