Paws and effect
released OUT NOW! 1942 | PG | Blu-ray
Director Jacques Tourneur Cast simone simon, Kent smith, Tom Conway, Jane randolph
“Nothing disappears more quickly than film,” claimed Jacques Tourneur, director of this timeless slice of horror-noir. He would have appreciated the irony of a newly restored 2K digital transfer, preserving his 1942 masterpiece on Blu-ray.
Produced by Val Lewton, the king of shadow-draped cinema, the original Cat People remains a compelling, immersive watch. Tourneur’s extraordinary use of light, sound and suggestion create a nocturnal poetry from the tale of a shape-shifting Serbian émigré who brings an old world curse to New York. It’s an enduringly sensuous, sensual piece of filmmaking, as elegant, as mesmerising as smoke.
Extras The highlight of this Criterion Collection release is feature-length 2008 documentary Val Lewton: The Man In The Shadows, an insightful celebration of his life and work. There’s also an engaging interview/masterclass with Jacques Tourneur from ’70s French movie show Cine Regards, and a featurette in which John Bailey – cinematographer on the ’80s remake – discusses the work of his predecessor, Nicholas Musuraca. Plus: commentary by film historian Gregory Mank, an essay by poet and film critic Geoffrey O’Brien, and the trailer. Nick Setchfield
“You will never see a striped tie in any of my films,” said Tourneur, believing they distracted from the actors’ faces.
Carol was fascinated by knobs.