The Null Device

I rewatched Dark City today on DVD. The visuals and set designs (dig that groovy art deco!) are quite spectacular in places, though with every viewing it seems less like an internally consistent story and more like a stylistic pastiche, referencing films from Metropolis to The City of Lost Children, as well as the entire film noir genre and much of recent scifi. It's not fatally flawed (one can suspend disbelief), but there are a few things which don't quite hold up under scrutiny (i.e., if the Strangers have a group mind, why doesn't each Stranger immediately know what happens to each other of its kin; also, if they can change reality by mental powers alone, why do they need to physically arrange props for their guinea pigs?). Still, for the visual experience, it's worth seeing (especially on DVD or in the cinema).

(I'm rather fond of boldly visual films, and recently noticed that a lot of my favourite directors come from predominantly visual backgrounds. Jeunet and Caro worked on music videos in the 1980s, as did Alex Proyas (though I wouldn't call him a favourite on the strength of one film, and The Crow didn't really seem that special), and Terry Gilliam was, of course, the Monty Python team's resident animator. By that token, I'm really looking forward to Chris Cunningham's take on Neuromancer.)

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