Last week I revisited that 2004-2005 period of Tony Scott’s career, when MAN ON FIRE and then DOMINO went crazy with the hand-cranked visual chaos, and I talked about my impression at the time of Scott as a lifelong mainstream director suddenly showing up to work with a blue mohawk, cinematically speaking. You know what? That seems pretty off base now that I’ve seen where he started, his one movie before TOP GUN, the aggressively mood-and-style-over-narrative vampire tale THE HUNGER (1983).
It opens with a long sequence that’s almost experimental in its editing, the kind of thing people compare to MTV, but it’s much more underground, really. Bauhaus are performing “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” at some goth club, though the series of shots never show us the geography, or even the stage, just Peter Murphy behind a fence, bathed in smoke, mouthing the words, no microphone. Meanwhile, the most unapproachable goths you’ve ever seen are eyeing the dance floor from above, looking like Nagel prints who escaped into the real world and became European fashion models. They are the Blaylocks, Miriam (Catherine Deneuve, THE MUSKETEER) and John (David Bowie, LABYRINTH), dressed like they’re from different eras, stone faced and hiding behind sunglasses. On the floor below, people vaguely twitch to the music, and it doesn’t look like any of them are having any fun, but I get the sense that this is everything they wanted out of their evening, if they survive it. (read the rest of this shit…)