The graceful and affectionate manner in which Bresson captures Maria Casares' impeccable face in the opening scene, while the flickering lights reveal and emphasize different emotions-ranging from hesitant, to afraid and despiteful-on her face in the opening scene, makes me wonder how Bresson's filmography would have turned out, had he used professional actors again after this film. David Thompson put it well when he said this sometimes feels more like an Ophüls film than a Bresson, except for one thing of course, that Jean Cocteau (rather prophetically) pointed out: This isn't a film! "It's the skeleton of a film."
or An Auteur is Born
It’s crazy to see how much of De Palma’s subsequent thematic concerns and stylistic tropes where there from his very first feature! It doesn’t make much sense (but then again “making sense” wasn’t exactly something De Palma was that concerned with in any of his films) and is very rough around the edges, but the film permeates with creative ideas that will be properly developed in films like Blow Out, among others.
Seems like I finally “got” De Palma! The level of formal playfulness in every shot of this film is superb and genuinely exciting. It’s so full of ideas that the frame can hardly contain it, and it just made me wiggle in my seat! Like how much can you do with a single person inside an elevator going up and down?! De Palma can certainly have a whole lot of fun even with that simple of a premise!
Blow Out begins with a joke; by the end, the joke has been turned inside out. In a way, the movie is about accomplishing the one task set for the sound effects man at the start: he has found a better scream.
From Pauline Kael's brilliant piece "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Gadgeteer"
P.S. I can’t believe I had actually watched this same movie the first time around...