Starman (1984) Directed by John Carpenter
After declaring in our best of 2014 post how much I wanted to revisit Starman, it popped up on Netflix a few days later. Starman probably (and rightly) should be considered a bedfellow of The Man Who Fell To Earth and even a gentler predecessor of a movie I've yet to see, Under The Skin. Of course, Starman is funnier and warmer than those other pictures and essentially falls very much into the classic road movie genre. But before we delve into Starman's charms, a special mention for John Carpenter. We have barely featured Carpenter on these pages, but he remains essential and has delivered a fine filmography over many decades. The words underrated were made for this director, especially when you consider he has bought us Dark Star, Assault On Precinct 13, Halloween, Elvis (a great made for TV bio pic starring Carpenter regular Kurt Russell), Escape From New York, The Thing and Starman. The1970's to mid 1980's were probably Carpenter's golden period, but a director so often characterised as representing the 'horror' genre has also dealt us scifi, romance and some comedy in good measure. Starman though, is his lost masterpiece.
|Bridges & Allen in Starman|
|The use of blues & reds add depth and atmosphere to Starman|
Starman was one of those movies that I could have totally done without watching, but yet got into as I went along. I liked the way the 1980s special effects had dated and looked like theatre sets. I loved the staged feel – the use of color and light – especially because it was combined with the idea of extraterrestrial higher intelligent beings. I am a sucker for that stuff, when it doesn't scare me to stupidity. I was reminded of Hal Hartley movies, and thought of Twin Peaks. Sometimes I just had to laugh, because at times the film fissured into the ridiculous.
|Unrealistic but somehow amazing...|
|Stylish as hell – Bridges and Allen in Starman|
I don't need to see this film ever again, but if I was 20-years-old today, I'd probably show this to my crush to test his/her coolness. It's kind of like a long music video with great synth sounds all the way.