San Francisco Bay Guardian, August 18 - 24, 2010

Lights out !

Noir (and not) film series, by Matt Sussman

The real gem, though, is Jack Garfein’s criminally unavailable Something Wild (1961), which plays with his only other feature, the homoerotic military school, drama The Strange one (1957). You know the gloves are off when within its first five minutes the ravishing Carroll Baker, the film’s star and director’s then-wife, is graphically raped. After running away to Manhattan, Baker’s traumatized victim is rescued from a suicide attempt by Mike (Ralph Meeker, star of 1955’s Kiss me Deadly), a drunken mechanic who locks her in his rundown flat. Thought, at times, Meeker and Baker lay on the Method acting pretty thick, Aaron Copland’s dissonant original score and cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan’s remarkable black and white photography of New York’s slums and skyscrapers push Something Wild into wonderfully strange, surreal places.

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