Peeping Tom (1960)
There’s a scene in David Lynch’s film Lost Highway where a man puts a large gun to the head of Patricia Arquette and forces her to strip. What we see is what lover Balthazar Getty imagines as Arquette recounts the tale and Marilyn Manson snarls lasciviously on the sound track. It’s such as a brazenly cynical stunt you’d raise an eyebrow to see it in a b-movie, never mind one from the likes of David Lynch. But then…man puts gun to woman’s head and makes her take her clothes off…in a way, it’s almost the defining essence of film.
The pathology of cinema…the camera is a gun. Or, in the case of Peeping Tom, a knife. The device makes voyeurs of us all, so in response Michael Powell took a horror movie notion, served it up in stylish technicolor, and gave us a young man raised by a deluded camera-wielding scientist who enacts his revenge on young women by forcing them to watch their own deaths as he films their demise. From the director who brought us A Matter Of Life And Death… a reminder of the instincts the camera stirs up in us all.