Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sight and Sound's Take On Out Of Sight

The October 1998 issue of Sight and Sound is well worth searching out for fans of OUT OF SIGHT. Peter Matthews excellent article on it entitled BLIND DATE contains some opinions I don't agree with but that doesn't matter. It is a very nicely rendered and effective look at the film and the people who made it. I wanted to share the following paragraph from the article because it really sums up a key aspect I love about the film.

"What links Jack and Karen to those flaky 30s movie couple is their willingness to behave irresponsibly, to leave their hidebound identities and take a chance. What makes them 90s figures is the limited nature of their romantic project. Neither is willing to give up the solid world they live in for something as chimerical as love. And yet OUT OF SIGHT becomes possibly even more romantic because that love crystallizes in memory as a lost potential, a regret. As Jack and Karen continue to talk, Soderbergh flashes forward to their single act of consummation (and has the taste to not picture it too graphically). Now we understand why the freeze-frames, which in earlier parts of the film seemed an annoying tic, are necessary to its conception-Jack and Karen are storing up images for the long, cold future. The reserved, slightly ceremonial framing contributes to the mood of subdued gravity: we feel the characters are utterly conscious of each moment as it slips away and already view it with sharp pangs of nostalgia."

Lovely stuff, I wish I would have written it...the article concludes with an interview with screenwriter Scott Frank where he states:

"It's about the road not taken, which is the saddest thing. When I first wrote the screenplay, the character was in his 50s-I thought of Robert De Niro even Jack Nicholson. What's so great about George Clooney's performance is that he conveys that sadness" 'If I hadn't robbed all those banks, I could have been with this girl.'"

My look at OUT OF SIGHT will continue later...


Steve Langton said...

I have this issue buried away in my collection. Must dig it out and re-read. Really enjoying your coverage of this film.

Rogue Spy 007 said...

It sounds great. I really loved this film. I can't wait to see your continued blogging on it.