Blow Out ★★★★½

De Palma's Blow Out is an impressive display of every single known resource by its director in terms of filmmaking as an art form, spawning one compelling and gripping thriller sprinkled with elements of the classic noir genre, based on one Zapruder tape fictional twin and a beneath-surface-level criminal conspiracy.

The cinematography is simply another character in the film. Every single approach is an expression of intent to convey certain meanings, emotion or pieces of information. Delightfully heterogeneous camera movement, framing, composition, blocking and exceptional lighting, added to the use of split diopters, choice of split shots, and not a single wasted cut of editing, make this an example on how to shoot an engaging and tense piece of the thriller genre.

In spite of the extensive palette of filming techniques showed by De Palma, the sound design and editing take the cake. Fewer times before I've seen a movie that intertwines in such an apparently effortless way a technical element with its narrative structure, making the use of sound not just a flashy display or a senseless gimmick, but a true extension of its plot and world dynamics.

The script might be his weaker side. The questionable course of action and logic, alongside a not so well explored or carefully grounded purpose, might come across at points as not much else than a believable (at times) MacGuffin rather than being true goals for its characters. Some aspects are laid in the film but never truly explored, such as the purely political repercussions of the story.

I always cherish when a movie has the guts to have an ambiguous, original, bittersweet or even straight-up cynical ending - when well executed, at least.

If I were to make a hall of fame for the pure crime conspiracy thriller, De Palma's filmmaking masterclass would have a secured place in it.