Point Blank

FRIDAY NIGHT FILM

Directed by

John Boorman

Thudding footsteps echo their way into the film’s soundscape as a man with sizeable physical presence charges down an empty tunnel with only vengeance in mind. Upon reaching his destination, he smashes his way through an apartment front door, grabs hold of the woman on the other end, and heads into the bedroom. With that same abrasive momentum, he blasts six bullets into an unoccupied bed where his expectant victim would lay. 

 

This sequence typifies Point Blank’s appeal. A conventional revenge narrative used as the skeleton for heavily stylized and experimental filmmaking aided by Marvin’s brutal performance. This post-war noir has maintained its potency and only gets better with repeated viewing.

 

When we drafted up the concept for a weekly curated film pick, we wanted to include genre films that leave a distinct impression for their artistic qualities and there is nothing quite like the bold execution of Point Blank. We therefore consider it something of a quintessential Friday Night Film pick and a fitting choice to kick off this feature. 

 

Lee Marvin plays Walker, the hard-boiled antihero whose existence is determined by his obsession with revenge and repayment after a double-crossing leaves him left for dead at Alcatraz prison. Upon his escape, Walker’s only means of expression is violence as he tramples his way through the urban jungle of sun-soaked Los Angeles in an attempt to track those who wronged him and reclaim his money.