Blow Out (1981)
It isn't just the title that is reminiscent of Antonioli's Blow-Up, it's director Brian De Palma's entire approach. With its high focus on imagery, compositions and juxtapositions, Blow Out may well be De Palma's most stylistically ambitious film. And his wizardry is quite successful, because the film looks and feels great, like a juiced-up and playful version of the 70s political paranoia thriller. Made in 1981, the film catches John Travolta right in the wake of his breakthrough, possibly at his most confident and good-looking. He has rarely done better, before or since, when it comes to pure acting performance. He is De Palma's perfect instrument to modernize and freshen up an otherwise quite hitchcockesque thriller – which holds up well and is only a little short of brilliant. John Lithgow played his first of many psychos, although as with all of them, you kind of sense the good guy behind the mask.