[CRITICAL] THE PREY (1971)

This is the story of Clint Eastwood in the kingdom of women… The prey is a fantastic thriller with a sensual and psychological signed Don Siegel, which one speaks to you because that Sofia Coppola will produce a remake.

The story: John McBurney is seriously wounded in the leg during the last days of the american Civil war. Amy, a southerner from the age of twelve, discovers it lying in the forest and manages to drag him down to the boarding school where it is high. All the students are divided between their fear of the yankee, and their desire for men since the beginning of the war. Including the situation, John is to seduce and sometimes the one, sometimes the other…

The image in this article is the result of the first stage of the Prey.

McBurney (Clint Eastwood), who was injured, is found in the middle of the forest by the small Amy. In the distance, a band of confederate soldiers approaching. A real danger to the unionist McBurney: and if the small called ? After all, she is a confederate, he is the enemy… where the following dialogue, related to the need to create a diversion.

“How old are you Amy ?”

“12, thirteen in decemb…”

“shhhh… Old enough for kisses”

“How old are you Amy ?”

“12 years old, thirteen in decem…”

“chhhhut… Quite old for a kiss”

… … … And then, he kisses her.

Here it is: it is exactly for this kind of ambiguities disturbing, which will happen a number of times during the film, that The prey is so awesome.

Eastwood AKA the man with the most class/BG/sexy of the time, a performer so a character disorder and indecipherable as possible, moving to a thousand leagues away from the figure of the hero (or anti-hero) in the usual way. Is he a sexual predator ? a seducer ? a romantic ? a survivor ? a prey ? Impossible to know, and yet this character is our guide, the one to which we strive, the one by which we discover this microcosm feminine. These women ? A panel also characterized as immediately identifiable. Amy, the “little girl”, Carol “bitch”, Edwina the “innocent virgin”, Hallie, “the slave”, Martha “milf frigid”…

Yet very quickly, as McBurney (” calls me McB “ said he) empathizes with them, the better to seduce/manipulate, these women reveal their side of the facets much less unidirectional than expected. Much more psychological, much more ambiguous, much more dangerous. Who is prey, who is the victim ? McB, double, triple, quadruple, quintuple game of seduction is it for them dangerous or an outlet ? An injury (emotional, psychological or physical) can it not also generate a survival instinct, a state of rage defensive ? Which will hurt truly the other first ?

“Sensual, tense, political, complex, fascinating, feminist,… prey is a masterpiece” Click To Tweet

If decode the true nature and motivations of all these characters is in itself exciting, it passes by a voltage sensual and sexual as rarely is there the opportunity to see at the cinema. Sensual and sexual, because we are talking here about a man, an alpha male even (Clint Eastwood we all remember), placed at the center of attention of 8 women lonely. Then tension, because we are in empathy with them as much as with him… where multiple suspense to every interaction, every intrusion from the outside (always men), each change of balance… Up to this final, apocalyptic, violent, cruel, and paroxysmal, but yet an incredible understatement. The perfect end to a fucking great 8 emotional.

If the trappings of commercial cinema are present and noticeable to the accessibility they give to the film (pace, aesthetic, casting bankable, western/war), however, they are regularly parasitized by tiny moments that mindfuckent completely to the viewer. We spoke over the top of the kiss paedophile Clint Eastwood, but there are also hidden in the voice-overs or flashbacks almost subliminal, the repositioning of the sliders of normality and politically correct… to the extreme; a pedophile early on, a cruelty free further, a question of incest here, a latent racism and reciprocal there… And on the other hand, it is not only these aspects, questioning the moral limits that denote, sometimes there is simply the suggestion of a depth, particular in the characters, little cinégénique because it was too realistic and familiar, but yet so fascinating that a wider variety of the unpredictability of the film.

And then as a watermark for the study of women and its versatility, as well as these psychological portraits of the underlying, The Prey takes a look politicized but always so modern about the hypocrisy in the absolute a few of the iconic american values; and slavery, desire of property, violence and vice are inherent, fantasies fulfillment, etc

If it was not for his appearance hollywood (an integral part of his genius, subversive), The Prey would have quite had his place among the films of the New Hollywood, and would be similar to a lot of the work of a Scorsese.

This wealth of thematic and emotional would be it says nothing as powerful, without a realization of quality. Again, it is a question of subtlety, of dosage. Don Siegel master of clear theatricality, dialogue, use of space, direction of actors, editing, management of censorship, but it is in the complementarity and interaction of these aspects independently successful, as well as worn by some until the end-ism and a desire for political cinema, as The Prey goes to a good film forgettable, to the timeless classic.

This is also why we are enthusiastic about the first images of the “remake” of Prey by Sofia Coppola, who in the past knew how to apply a personal look and sensitive, on scripts of any kind (Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette) to make them fascinating objects generational… Evidence that a realization of the singular associated with obsessions of copyright can reformulate a material labeled as predictable. Will she nevertheless be freed from the work of Don Siegel ?

Response from the August 23, 2017.

Georgeslechameau

YOUR OPINION ?

[CRITICAL] THE PREY (1971)
Original title : The Beguiled

Achievement : Don Siegel

Screenplay : Albert Maltz, Irene Kamp, abrès The Beguiled by Thomas Cullinan

Main actors : Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman

Release Date : 1971

Duration : 1h45min
5.0masterpiece
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