The Eyes of Laura Mars

THE EYES OF LAURA MARS

D: 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.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Screens Reviews
What If the Marx Brothers Got Around to Making That Movie With Salvador Dalí?
What If the Marx Brothers Got Around to Making That Movie With Salvador Dalí?
Josh Frank brings the legendary unproduced movie to printed life

Wayne Alan Brenner, March 22, 2019

What If <i>The Texas Chain Saw Massacre</i> Was Really About the Horrors of Modern American Society?
What If The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Was Really About the Horrors of Modern American Society?
Putting the Austin-made seminal slasher back into context

Marc Savlov, March 22, 2019

More by Stephen MacMillan Moser
After a Fashion: A Stitch In Time
After a Fashion: A Stitch In Time
Fort Lonesome will not be lonely for long

July 5, 2013

After a Fashion: The Main Event
After a Fashion: The Main Event
Your Style Avatar would look great sporting these parasols

June 28, 2013

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle