Boorman's virtuoso modernist style -- full of flash and fragmentation -- is an ideal counterpoint to Marvin's inspired simplicity. The movie has classic, jolting scenes, like Walker shooting a telephone. Angie Dickinson plays Walker's sister-in-law, who helps him get to John Vernon, his traitorous friend. There's a unique mixture of passive sadism and slapstick in the way Marvin just stands there and allows Dickinson to pound herself against his rocklike frame. She ends up slapping herself silly. Sometimes, Walker's violence is all business; sometimes, though, it's personal. As Boorman said after Marvin's death in 1987, "When he fought in World War II, when he was 17, he was brutalized. ... He was war-wounded. He had this compulsion toward violence, but he also had, at the same time, a horror of war and violence. This tremendous conflict is what I was exploring in Point Blank."
-- Michael Sragow
Point Blank screens at 6, 8, and 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 21 & 22, at the Roxie, 16th & Valencia. Tickets are $3-6; call 863-1087.