35mm Print | Special Guest

Point Blank


Special CRITIC’S CHOICE screening! See the classic 1967 thriller, Point Blank, starring Lee Marvin, on the big screen in 35mm, selected by noted film critic and political commentator, John Powers, critic at large for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Mr. Powers will participate in a post-film discussion with Loft Cinema Program Director, Jeff Yanc.

Thanks to our film sponsor, University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television.

John Boorman’s fabulous, fractured 1967 thriller Point Blank is a key link between vintage noir and the great paranoid conspiracy films of the 1970s.  Tough guy Lee Marvin gives a slam-bang performance as Walker, a hard-nosed hoodlum double-crossed by his confederates after a daring heist: he’s shot point-blank and left for dead.   But Walker seemingly survives the assault and sets out to exact revenge, cutting a swath of possibly metaphysical mayhem through a mod, candy-colored Los Angeles. Boorman’s crisp, brutal, dazzling adaptation of a Donald Westlake novel is perhaps the definitive ‘60s crime film, co-starring Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn and Carroll O’Connor. (Dir. by John Boorman, 1967, USA, 92 mins., Not Rated)

John Powers on Point Blank: “I never get tired of praising Point Blank, which is flat-out one of the greatest crime movies of all time.  Starring Tucson’s own Lee Marvin at his most unstoppable, this dreamlike thriller blends hardboiled Hollywood and European art cinema into something that still looks fresh half a century later.  Director John Boorman transforms a simple revenge story into something grander – a quest myth, a study of L.A. architecture, a portrait of corporate capitalism, and a textbook on the imaginative use of violence.  Every time I watch it, I discover something new.”

John Powers has spent the last thirty years as a critic and political commentator for L.A. Weekly, Vogue, and NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, where he is currently critic at large.  His articles have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Departures, Gourmet, Harper’s and The Nation.  He is the author of the book Sore Winners (and the Rest of Us) in George Bush’s America, a study of American culture during the Bush years and co-author with Wong Kar Wai of WKW: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai published in April, 2016.