Manipulating Fate

Would you change your fate, if you could? Don’t worry, the director will do it for you.

Femme Fatale blinds us with the eyes and light symbolism so much, that we can be forgiven for overlooking the hands. But they are there and play a major part.

The patsy of this story takes things into his own hands by operating the recording device. This means that in order to break the cycle of pessimism and negativity, we can only count on our inner creativity. No more, no less.

Having our hands on the breasts of the prize (girl), it’s clear that we are focused on a certain path: sex, money and power. In this context, the miraculous development of the story shines brighter.

In the seduction scene, the hand that caresses is the hand that betrays. This is a bitter observation, overshadowed by the excitement.

In a more amusing turn of events, there is a scene where the paw of a cat reminds us of the omnipresent nature (like the rat in Mission: Impossible) and that we are never truly alone, for better or worse.

This entry was posted in 2000s, Artist, Femme Fatale. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Manipulating Fate

  1. Harry Georgatos says:

    FEMME FATALE is a great return to form for De Palma after the non-existant story to MISSION TO MARS with some of the most dumb dialogue one wishes to hear. FEMME FATALE starts with a delirously absurd heist sequence to orchestural music on the soundtrack. REBECCA betrays her two partners in crime and runs off with the stolen goods leaving her two partners to take the wrap. REBECCA assumes a new identity in an alternate reality. The use of the split-screen has never been used as well since De Palma’s SISTERS and BLOW OUT. The strategic use of the parisian church is a masterstroke and brilliantly photographed. Banderas photographic obsession in creating his masterpiece is the type of character obsession that can be seen in Travolta’s character in BLOW OUT. De Palma has all his visual stylistic tricks from the split-diopter to the long crane tracking tracking shots, to his use of silence and his sudden triple cuts. The devices De Palma uses to create an alternate reality a conventional from the clock always at 3.33, to the deja vu poster, to the overflowing water, to the same truck moving up and down parisian streets, to REBECCA falling from great heights and the chubby security guard from the Cannes film festival at the biker’s club. FEMME FATALE is not as complex as David Lynch’s LOST HIGHWAY, MULHOLLAND DRIVE or INLAND EMPIRE. Those Lynch films have come out of the directors dark surrealist subconscious. FEMME FATALE is still a rich film but can’t be compared to those three Lynch masterpieces! Once in the real world, outside the church everything is settled through divine intervention with the final shot of Bandera’s photographic master work completed. FEMME FATALE is more of a cult film for De Palma fans as opposed to the mainstream which probaly explains why it did not perform at the box office.

  2. Mickey says:

    Femme Fatale wasnt a return to form. De Palma’s form never left. Mission To Mars is a great film once you get its ode to 1950’s space optimism. Carlito’s Way is amazing, most serious De Palma writers think Black Dahlia is his best film, Redacted was powerful and Snake Eyes was an excellent thriller. I do agree that Femme Fatale pales, however, in comparison to Mulholland Drive.

    • Harry Georgatos says:

      Don’t get me wrong MISSION TO MARS is put together with sophisticated skill and craftsmanship. It’s an amazing looking film through it’s use of CGI and visual effects. It has complex space travel set-pieces that have a hypnotic precision. MISSION TO MARS is an ode to 1950’s optimisim but I just didn’t care for the story that much. It’s a rescue mission and in the last 15 minutes we get this embarrassingly simplistic answer in how life originated from Mars to Earth. That’s it! End of story! I’ve always thought De Palma’s style is suited to sci-fi. I’ve been waiting for De Palma to be given the chance to make THE DEMOLISHED MAN into a film since he made THE FURY. That project has been languishing in development hell for 30 years! CARLITO’S WAY and THE BLACK DAHLIA are great distintictive De Palma films. SNAKE EYES has an opening hypnotic 50 minutes of sophisticated filmmaking from three different points-of-view. De Palma is obviously influenced by Kurasawa’s RASHAMON. It is RASHAMON meets Hitchcock. The last 30 minutes the film is a major rip-off. The ending is extremely anti-climatic! Cage at the end refers to how he got out of that tunnel filled with water. There was no such ending. There was a huge CGI set-piece to finish the film. The studio removed that huge action set-piece and De Palma replaced it with that unfortunate ending. The original cut had a higher sex and violence quotient where the studio forced De Palma to delete a lot of scenes. REDACTED is powerful but no match to CASUALTIES OF WAR. It is a film more for film-festivals. With a limited budget it is very rough around the edges in the second half. I wanted REDACTED to have been as well crafted as THE HURT LOCKER to make it accessible to a wider audience. It’s a pastische of different forms and styles that doesn’t translate to a mainstream audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *