Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Snapshot (1979)

A strange stalker picture from the land Down Under, Snapshot stars Aussie starlet Sigrid Thornton as Angela, a hairdresser whose transition into modeling has disastrous results. Directed by Simon Wincer, a veteran of Australian television who later scored with the miniseries Lonesome Dove (1989) and the family favorite Free Willy (1993), Snapshot feels like several different movies jammed into one package. The thriller material, which is supposed to be the film’s main focus, is the least effective: With Aussie composer Brian May contributing awful disco-era backing music, Thornton runs around looking frightened while assorted weirdos chase after her and leave sick mementoes like dead animals and shredded clothing. All very standard stuff, and not done particularly well. Of greater interest (comparatively speaking) is the character material delving into the psyches of Angela and the people in her world. Thornton, who has an endearingly wounded quality in Snapshot, enjoys strong moments interacting with her character’s bitchy best friend, needy ex-boyfriend and overbearing mother, so she somewhat effectively conveys a young woman trying to form her own identify. Unfortunately, this interesting-ish stuff gets smothered in silliness, from the expected (the stalking scenes) to the unexpected (several visits to a discotheque at which a queeny drag performer sings bizarre songs). The movie also features what may be the most excessive repetition of a nude shot in movie history; a topless photo of Angela taken for an advertisement becomes a major plot point, so it’s shown literally hundreds of times, particularly during a scene in which a room is entirely papered with reproductions of the image. Despite offering such lurid extremes and fleeting moments of surprising credibility, Snapshot is such a jumble that it’s a chore to endure.

Snapshot: LAME

No comments: