Femme Fatale

Watching this again, I was struck by how Ryuichi Sakamoto's score impacts the film's tone. The music is delicate, playful, and often calming; it encourages the spectator to reflect on how De Palma is making art. Form is everything in this movie and content all but arbitrary, as De Palma catalogues all the fun things one is able to do as a director (split-screens, tracking shots, extreme high and low angles, split diopter effects, et cetera). In the spirit of play, De Palma manipulates his characters as if they were toys, shuttling them forward in time, placing them in life-threatening danger, dressing them in different disguises. Jonathan Rosenbaum described this as a compendium of all of De Palma's previous thrillers, and there are moments that deliberately recall BLOW OUT, BODY DOUBLE, and likely others I failed to recognize; these go into the usual stew of Hitchcock and European art house references. The style doesn't feel as aggressive as it usually does in De Palma's work, in part because of that reflective attitude.