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Brian De Palma

Blow Out

Director Brian De Palma Composer Pino Donaggio Cast John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow
Edition 2024
108' - 1981 - Crime, Mystery, Drama - Dialogue: English

In this political thriller about the cover-up of the assassination of a governor, Brian De Palma smartly makes use of the material essence of film (the merging of image and sound) to solve a murder mystery. The director's brilliance here results in an ingenious adrenaline rush somewhere between Antonioni's Blow Up and Coppola's The Conversation.

John Travolta is a soundman who witnesses a car accident concealing a political assassination, which he sets out to prove by purely audiovisual means. De Palma turns the tragic accident and its aftermath into a synthesis of a number of true political scandals and tragedies from the second half of the 20th century: the sniper assassination of JFK in Dallas; Nixon and his ‘plumbers’ in the Watergate affair; Ted Kennedy's accident in Chappaquiddick to which the premise of Blow Out explicitly refers. In 1980s America, hardly anyone sees any harm in covering up a shady assassination. The cover-up is considered the most ordinary thing in the world. The media do not fulfil their duty; instead of bringing the truth to light, they exploit, without any moral scruples, all the sensational material up for grabs.

Tickets & screenings: from 19 September 2024.

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Credits

Directors

Brian De Palma

Composers

Pino Donaggio

Cast

John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow

Scenario

Brian De Palma

Director of Photography

Vilmos Zsigmond

Editors

Paul Hirsch

Producers

Fred C. Caruso, George Litto

More info

Dialogue

English

Countries of production

United States of America

Year

1981