The underrated and very interesting James B. Harrisformer producer of Kubrick (The Killing, Paths of Glory, Lolita), and writer-director of The Bedford Incident, Some Call It Loving, and Fast Walkinghas adapted James Ellroy’s novel Blood on the Moon, about an obsessed LA detective tracking down a serial killer. James Woods, who previously teamed up with Harris on Fast Walking, doubles here as star and coproducer (with Harris); Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning, and Charles Haid also figure in the cast. For a long time now, Harris seems to have had a bee in his bonnet about the corruption of sexual innocencea theme that yielded his one (very unconventional) masterpiece, Some Call It Loving. A related obsession is operative here, with misogynistic overtones, but this time there’s not enough distance on it to make for much lucidity: the film is both provocative and murky, and good performances from Woods, Warren, and Durning don’t suffice to clear up or objectify the unpleasantness in any edifying way. A rather oddball film that uses Woods as its mouthpiece to denounce the self-imposed innocence of women, it doesn’t look long or hard enough on its hero’s motivations to place them in any broader context. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.