Sunday, 3 July 2011
A fantastic melange of SF/neo-noir/horror/thriller, Seconds (John Frankenheimer, 1966) stars Rock Hudson as a middle-aged businessman who is coerced into submitting himself to a clandestine organisation who fake the deaths of unhappy individuals and offer them a second chance at life. This involves plastic surgery and a number of actors/minders who ensure that new converts ('re-birthers') fully adapt to their new identities. Those that fail to do so, as is the case with Hudson, face bitter consequences.
The film shares an air of Cold War paranoia with Frankenheimer's earlier overtly political piece, The Manchurian Candidate, and adds a hint of monochrome psychedelia courtesy of James Wong Howe's beautiful photography and the wonderful Saul Bass titles.
This scene's beatnik Bacchanalian reverie is a personal favourite, with some fine examples of human anatomy.