The Eyes of Laura Mars
Reviewed by Stephen MacMillan Moser, Fri., Oct. 1, 1999
THE EYES OF LAURA MARSD: Irvin Kershner (1978); with Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif, Raul Julia, Rene Auberjonois, and assorted disco-era models and fashionistas. Jon Peters' first production as he transformed himself (with girlfriend Barbra Streisand's help) from hairdresser to movie producer, this movie is a
gem of Seventies style at its finest. The clothes, the hair, the make-up, the music, the attitude, the interiors, and the locations ride the crest of the high-style wave that flooded the world through the Eighties. Combining the improbable worlds of violence and fashion with a story that centers on a famous photographer (Dunaway) and her ability to see her friends and colleagues being stalked and murdered, Eyes has moments of serious suspense, but that's hardly the reason to see this movie. Utilizing the actual photography of fashion god Helmut Newton, the filmmaker has exquisitely captured the 1978 New York fashion and disco scene in a way that none of the recent looks at the Seventies has been able to; but then again, this movie was made in 1978, not 20 years later. The scenes of photo shoots are particularly fun to watch, with one scene portraying a burning car crash in Columbus Circle in which the models, clad in garter belts and fur coats, get in a cat fight before the camera. The ingenious use of real models adds the precise amount of vacuousness necessary to make the surreal shot work. Another photo shoot involves a model dead from a gunshot to his heart, lying in a pool surrounded by exotically dressed disco-dancing models and a throbbing disco beat. The plot is secondary to style in this movie, and style is the only reason this movie
should be remembered. Favorite moment: Darlanne Fluegel as the model Lulu haplessly trying to explain to the press why violence is important in fashion photos.