(A Movie A Day Keeps….) The Metrograph in NYC is showing a Brian De Palma series, showcasing 28 out of his 29 full length films. Brian De Palma is one of my favorite directors, having directed 4 films I would rate a 9 out of 10, which include Carrie, Phantom Of The Paradise, Dressed To Kill and Body Double. He has many other very good films, including Sisters, Scarface and Hi Mom. He also has about 14 movies I have not seen yet, so this is my chance to see as many of them as I can make time for, so expect to see me reviewing all the ones I have missed or skipped due to disinterest. Nothing I like more than rounding out the catalogue of films I have yet to see of a particular director, especially one held in such high esteem.
I has seen Hi, Mom! many years ago on a double bill with Greetings, which makes sense since Hi, Mom! is the sequel to Greetings. I remember liking both of them, but did not remember much about them. Seeing Hi, Mom! again during this retrospective really made me appreciate what an amazing film this is.
The basic premise is that The Robert De Niro character from Greetings comes back from the Vietnam war and decides to start his peep art project as a series of movies. He gets in touch with a porn publisher and convinces this guy to fund his project. While he films his project we get to meet a couple of his subjects, a girl who he decides to woo and turn into his first conquest, and a guy who goes to NYU and is an actor.
This is not as straightforward as most De Palma films are, and it’s a very dark comedy and a satire, so beware if you do not like these types of things. De Palma mentioned his love for Goddard in these years, and yu can see the influence all over this film. The film jumps around a bit, and doesn’t exactly follow typical plot lines. There is also some brilliant satire in this film, some of which may be lost on many people.
I am actually shocked at the fact that this does not get shown very much here in NYC, since it is a NYC film, and it stars a very young Robert De Niro. But maybe it is too discomforting for many people, which might be why it is generally unknown.
It is great to see NYC in 1970, and the soundtrack is amazing as well. The performances by the actors are all fun to watch, and although it can be a bit wacky at times, the overall feel of this film is pretty amazing. If you have a fondness for the unexpected, watch this and enjoy something that very few people know about!
This has now jumped into the #5 position of all the De Palma films I have seen. 8 out of 10 stars.