Bigger Than Life

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Time Out says

Mason's furrowed brow and brooding presence have rarely (never?) been used to better effect: 30 years on, his performance as the mild schoolteacher who is prescribed the wonder drug cortisone and becomes a raving megalomaniac addict remains profoundly disturbing. Suburbia is haunted by psychosis; family life torn apart by Oedipal bloodlust. Ray's direction (in 'Scope and Eastman Colour) is as moving as ever - delicate compositions and fluid camerawork contradicted by the image of weak men locked into obsessive self-destruction. At every level the banal props of '50s prosperity are turned into symbols of suffocation and trauma, from the X-ray machine used to diagnose Mason's 'disease' to the bathroom cabinet mirror shattering under a desperate blow. Trashed on first release, resurrected by Truffaut and Godard, lovingly imitated by Wim Wenders (in American Friend): this is Rebel Without a Cause for the grown-up world.
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Technoguy

Wow,this 50s film on American suburbia now released on DVD sure packs a punch into the solar plexus of conformity.Mason,producing as well,gives one of his best performances in a Jeckyll and Hyde role.Ray was one of the great American director's.His use of colour was symbolical and expressive.His use of wide-screen Cinemascope opens up architectural space inside a suburban home.The use of light and shadow and camera angle to bring out extremes of emotion and a character's inner life and phantasy.Rush is superb as the supportive but anxious wife,Lou.Olse is excellent as Ritchie the son.And Mattau comes across well as an eccentric but affable colleague and family friend.The superficial subject matter is the use/abuse of a 'wonder drug' to heal Mason's physical disease.This unlocks a pandora's box of psychosis and patriarchy:"God was wrong",he declares, Abraham should have sacrificed Isaac.He is about to sacrifice his son with scissors after shutting his wife away in a cupboard. He is template for any dictator,now his inner Nietsche has been liberated.I loved everything about this long lost masterpiece.

Technoguy

Wow,this 50s film on American suburbia now released on DVD sure packs a punch into the solar plexus of conformity.Mason,producing as well,gives one of his best performances in a Jeckyll and Hyde role.Ray was one of the great American director's.His use of colour was symbolical and expressive.His use of wide-screen Cinemascope opens up architectural space inside a suburban home.The use of light and shadow and camera angle to bring out extremes of emotion and a character's inner life and phantasy.Rush is superb as the supportive but anxious wife,Lou.Olse is excellent as Ritchie the son.And Mattau comes across well as an eccentric but affable colleague and family friend.The superficial subject matter is the use/abuse of a 'wonder drug' to heal Mason's physical disease.This unlocks a pandora's box of psychosis and patriarchy:"God was wrong",he declares, Abraham should have sacrificed Isaac.He is about to sacrifice his son with scissors after shutting his wife away in a cupboard. He is template for any dictator,now his inner Nietsche has been liberated.I loved everything about this long lost masterpiece.