Arthur Penn:"Night Moves" (1975)

Night Moves (1975)
Like Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (1973) and Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974), Arthur Penn's Night Moves rethinks the conventions of 1940s film noir with a 1970s sensibility. In the noir world, the L.A. lifestyles of the rich and famous masked an amoral core over which the detective could momentarily assert his ethical power; in Penn's 1970s version (as in those of Altman and Polanski), the detective cannot even manage that small a victory. The noir shadows that swathe Harry Moseby's Florida trip in Night Moves only emphasize how little he can see of what is really happening; and even what action Harry (Gene Hackman) can see is blocked by clear water and glass barriers. Increasingly less receptive to films that delved into the unethical morass of contemporary America, the audience did not embrace Night Moves as earlier ones had Penn's previous revisionist genre movies, Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Little Big Man (1970). Still, the final image of this Penn outing indelibly sums up the quandary of a detective with some grasp of how to do the right thing, faced with a society that couldn't care less.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More