Wednesday Night at the Cinematheque
SHE MAKES MEDIA
(d Ida Lupino 1953, US) 71 min.
Ida Lupino set aside her career as a successful leading lady, acting opposite such well-known stars as Humphrey Bogart, to start her own production company, Emerald Productions aka The Filmakers. This taut and primal thriller, the first film noir directed by a woman, is based on the crime spree of Billy Cook, who murdered six people in 22 days. Lupino abandoned her signature style of sweeping crane shots for claustrophobic close ups in this tale of Ray (Edmond O'Brien) and Gilbert (Frank Lovejoy) who unknowingly pick up a sociopath (William Talman) on the run from the law. The two friends plot an escape, but the hitchhiker's peculiar physical affliction, an eye that never closes even when he sleeps, make it impossible for them to tell when they can make a break for it.