The University of Iowa

‘Point Blank’ screening March 3 in ‘Film After Noir’ series

February 25th, 2011

The “Film After Noir,” series (the Spring 2011 Proseminar in Cinema and Culture) continues this Thursday, Mar. 3, with a screening of Point Blank (1967, John Boorman, 92 min), starting at 7 p.m. in 101 BCSB.

Point Blank is among the dozen or so films that revised narrative and visual conventions of the classic cycle of film noir between 1958 and 1975. Its non-linear narrative and inventive use of color and sound design evoke elements of the French New Wave and French New Novel between 1955 and 1962.

After stealing a large sum of money from a gambling operation, Walker (Lee Marvin) is betrayed by his best friend Mal Reese (John Vernon). Reese, who talked Walker into pulling off the heist, takes the money and Walker’s wife when he shoots Walker and leaves him for dead. Instead, Walker seemingly survives and returns to take revenge and recover his $93K share of the money. He confronts Reese and extracts the names of the leaders of the Organization, the group to whom Reese owed money. Eventually, Walker’s hunt leads him back to the money’s original drop point at Alcatraz. The film is adapted from The Hunter, a 1962 novel Donald E. Westlake wrote under the pen name Richard Stark.

Steven Ungar, UI professor of French and Comparative Literature, will lead post-screening discussions.

The series is sponsored by UI International Programs, the Institute for Cinema and Culture and the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Ungar at or 319-335-0330.