Klavan On The Culture

DVD: Dark City (The Director's Cut)

Am I the only movie buff on earth who missed this film entirely?  It came out in 1998, while I was still living overseas, so maybe that’s why.  But if like me, you’ve never seen or heard of it, it’s good!  Really good!  Immensely fun, smart, creepy and cool.

The most important thing I can tell you about the movie:  don’t read any descriptions of it before you watch!  No fooling.   Almost all of them contain huge spoilers.  The one in Leonard Maltin’s movie guide – a book I like, especially for older films – is horrible and basically tells you the end of the picture in the first sentence.  Len!  Love you, dude, but WTF?

As for the rest, it’s a classic thriller set-up:  a guy wakes up with no memory and finds himself a suspect in a series of murders of prostitutes.  And that’s when things begin to get weird.  What’s so great though is that they never get weird as in the TV show Lost or a film like Stay where pretty soon you realize things can’t be explained except by resorting to some version of “it’s all a dream.”  There’s something happening here and the film plays completely fair in letting the story behind the story unravel.

Top-flight cast too:  Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt and more.  That’s Ian Richardson being spooky-looking in the picture.

Anyway, forgive me if everyone else on earth has seen this.  It really took me by surprise:  popped up on my Netflix recommendations; I thought it was terrific.  I got the Director’s Cut by accident – usually I find the DC self-indulgent and overlong, nowhere near as good as the one pounded into shape by the cynics and bean counters at the studio – but this time I thought it was excellent, though I haven’t seen the original.

Definitely worth watching.