With Abby Westlake, Luc Sante and Lawrence Block in person for discussion moderated by Levi Stahl
Dir. John Boorman. 1967, 92 mins. 35mm. With Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Carroll O’Connor. Released with the tag line “He thrived on two kinds of people . . . his victims and his women,” Point Blank was a hard-boiled crime film via 1960s mod flash. Faced with the problem of how to present the taciturn, amoral Parker (here named Walker) onscreen, John Boorman opted to rely on the sheer physical menace of Lee Marvin. And while the film may be highly stylized—saturated southern California light, spare interiors, bright colors—its presentation of Parker as a relentless machine running on determination is as close as anyone’s gotten to putting Westlake’s signature character on film. Followed by a discussion with Abby Westlake, Donald Westlake’s wife, author Lawrence Block, and historian Luc Sante (Low Life), moderated by guest curator Levi Stahl.