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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Drama > French > Surrealism > Moon In The Gutter (1983/Cinema Libre DVD)

Moon In The Gutter (1983/Cinema Libre DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: C+



Continuing my mixed look at the films of Jean-Jacques Beineix, his 1983 film Moon In The Gutter wants to be a color Hitchcock thriller in the mode of Vertigo and Marnie, but gets too sidetracked too often with surrealism and fancy editing to add up to what it could have.  Gerard Depardieu plays a man (named Gerard!) who cannot believe his sister has been raped, killed and left for dead in a gutter.  Making things more interesting is the sudden appearance of a beautiful woman named Loretta (Nastasha Kinski at the height of her beauty) becomes involved with here when he should be solving the murder.


As a sort of parallel character to Loretta, Bella (Victoria Abril) is his girlfriend, but in all this, we never get much of an investigation of the murder, never learn about his sister and the film becomes Beineix’s attempt to do something Hitchcockian without much of an edge.  Not that I was expecting him to be like Brian De Palma, but this becomes more of a visual piece with limited points and the abstractness of the film only goes so far.  Not the biggest fan of Depardieu to being with, Kinski and the unconventional nature of this film save it from being worse.


Also, some of the editing and fighting scenes fall flat, yet this is an ambitious work worth seeing once, despite disappointing.  Dominique Pinion also stars.



The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image can be colorful, but has weak Video Black and detail can be a challenge, give or take some optical printing that simply does not work.  Director of Photography Philippe Rousselot (Diva, Hope & Glory) shot this in real anamorphic 35mm Panavision and is some of the best work of his career; especially since he has become such a commercial cameraman in recent years.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound is from the Dolby A-type analog theatrical stereo sound the film was originally issued in, has weak surrounds if that and shows its age, though Gabriel Yared’s score helps.  Extras include stills and an interview segment devoted to the film by MovieMaker Magazine publisher Tim Rhys.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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