Thursday, October 12, 2006
a return to The Black Dahlia - the ultimate film noir
Without a doubt, Brian de Palma knows how to make a woman look good in a movie. From Angie Dickinson in Dressed to Kill to Femme Fatale's Rebecca Romijn, in The Black Dahlia he has the sultry Scarlett Johansson, the quixotic million dollar baby herself Hilary Swank and the exotica Canadian Mia Kirshner. He dresses these figures in the film noir mystique of The Black Dahlia based on the suppositions of James Ellroy's of the 1947 Black Dahlia murder, one of the most bizarre murder of starlet Elizabeth Short in 1940s Hollywoodland. The novel itself is a fiction based upon the real unsolved crime, then de Palma condensed the plotpoints and characters to something that was manageable for him - which still leaves a sprawling movie filled with many contingency and twistpoints.
Her case was called "The Black Dahlia murder" due to Elizabeth Short's dark hair and she always wearing black or dark clothing. The crime solving is down to the hard-oiled partnership of the two cops dubbed Fire and Ice - Josh Hartnett as "Fire" - Bucky Bleichert and Aaron Eckhart's "Ice" - Lee Blanchard.