Tag Archives: paranoia

Shoot Me Twice: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

by Dan Fields

Shoot Me Twice by Fields Point Review compares the 1956 and 1978 versions of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

Jack Finney’s novel The Body Snatchers has seen four high-profile adaptations to film, but only the first two share the essential link between film and remake. Abel Ferrara’s noteworthy Body Snatchers, and Oliver Hirschbiegel’s less noteworthy The Invasion, riff on different themes than the two versions fully titled Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Though their styles diverge sharply with the decades in which each was produced, these movies mine contemporary social anxiety to the same terrifying effect, thanks to skillful directing and acting in both cases. Given the number of disappointing remakes to be covered in the coming weeks, it seems like a good idea to begin the series with an unqualified success.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)
directed by Don Siegel

Kevin McCarthy battles the Invasion Of The Body Snatchers in Don Siegel's original film
Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) pitches in.
© 1956 Allied Artists Pictures Corporation

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Movie Review: Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives Of Others, 2006)

This is a fine feature debut for German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, concerning high-stakes intrigue and a crisis of humanity in the East German Secret Police (Stasi) of the 1980s.

An ambitious member of the agency, Captain Wiesler, accepts an assignment to spy on a local artist and suspected political dissident. Expecting a routine investigation and subsequent arrest to further his own career, he becomes drawn into the personal life of his target, finding him to be a true patriot and a generally admirable person.

Growing respect for his subject complicates Wiesler’s own situation, pressured as he is to find dirt by his superiors, who may have personal reasons of their own for wanting this case to lead somewhere. In the end, he must put his reputation, career, and life on the line as he chooses whether to make the smart move or the right one.

The performances are expert, the cast well-matched, and the story manages both suspense and deeply moving drama. This movie opened in North America to strong praise, and rightly so. We will almost surely be hearing more from this group of moviemakers.