Blast of Silence

Blast of Silence

DVD - 2008
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Frankie Bono is an orphan who has learned to make a profitable living as a contract killer. Traveling from Cleveland to New York during the Christmas season, he is charged with taking out mid-level Harlem numbers and drug kingpin Troiano. Stalking his prey as he goes about his daily routine, Bono is distracted by an unexpected encounter with a childhood friend whose sister sees him as a lonely man, not the barely human shell he has become. Acutely aware of his own mortality, Bono sees everything as a facade, the pretty Christmas lights mere glitzy decorations covering the festering rot of existence, and his own personal hell.
Publisher: Irvington, NY : Criterion Collection, ©2008
ISBN: 9781604650297
160465029X
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (77 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet ([10] pages : illustrations ; 19 cm) and 1 insert (1 folded sheet ([4] pages) : color illustrations ; 19 cm)

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n
Nursebob
Jun 17, 2017

Considered by many to be a late film noir classic, Allen Baron’s ultra low-budget B&W downer is a gloomy mix of recycled clichés and a host of stock characters ranging from the troubled assassin (played by Baron himself) to his virginal object of desire to the slovenly corpulent gun dealer with a fondness for rats of all stripes (a delightfully sleazy performance from accomplished writer and producer Larry Tucker). And Baron's ambivalent hitman is dogged every step of the way by an unseen narrator who acts as a combination Greek chorus and voice of conscience. What raises this one above the herd however is Merrill Brody’s brilliant cinematography and Meyer Kupferman’s score of frantic jazz and soulful horn solos. Filmed guerrilla style on the twilit streets of Harlem and the Lower East Side, Brody juxtaposes urban grunge with garish Christmas displays (complete with children’s choirs) with ironic effect while his interior shots are all sharp angles and cold electric light. Dark and despairing from its opening monologue on the rigors of childbirth—brilliantly underscored by scenes of a train emerging from a tunnel—to its final storm-tossed climax filmed while hurricane Donna was battering the eastern seaboard. A fine example of maximum effect with minimum resources.

m
MontMoroc
Jan 08, 2017

Curious film noir- it's an interesting, rough hewn portrait of a paid killer shot on location in New York City.

p
PHILLIP GARY SMITH
Jul 31, 2016

The reason I found this movie, "Blast of Silence" [Criterion edition], was a mention in the mafia book "I Heard You Paint Houses" on the solving of Hoffa's disappearance and murder. Gangsters considered this movie an accurate depiction of their "real" life. Allen Baron, who wrote, directed and acted the lead in the movie, poured his heart into the admittedly low budget film, but the product shows what feels to be the real life of a gangster assassin: long boring stretches of dark loneliness punctured by moments of pure terror. The narration sets the tone with a raspy voice setting the background and action. Just by itself, Baron's hour-long short "Requiem for a Killer: The Making of Blast of Silence" makes this DVD a must see.

b
Bang_On
Jan 24, 2014

Though far from being great and definitely containing way-way too much voice-over narration for its own good (as you'll find out for yourself), this grungy, low-budget Crime/Drama from 1961 (featuring one of the blandest protagonists imaginable), is still well-worth a view for anyone who appreciates films from this particular genre._____ Though Blast Of Silence (BOS) is not quite what I would consider to be true "Film Noir", its grubby, greasy, cynical, little story about thugs, ruffians and low-lifes certainly had its fair share of entertaining moments._____ Set in NYC (just a day or 2 before Christmas), I guarantee you that BOS's black-hearted story will not, in any way, put you into the yuletide spirit. But, its up-tempo jazz score (which was pretty cool) may help to alleviate some of the story's more depressing moments._____ BOS's story concerns the callously-minded activities of Frankie Bono, an emotionally-dead (well, almost) hired killer from Cleveland who's come to NYC to fulfill his contract obligations, which means rubbing out an arrogant, second-fiddle crime-boss named Troiano._____ Filmed in stark b&w, BOS had a mere running time of only 77 minutes. You may find, like I did, that this film's story bears a lot of similarities to Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" from 1976.

brendancarlson Aug 20, 2011

If you're a fan of film noir, this is one movie that you will thank yourself for picking up. Don't miss it!

j
jonnybroom
Dec 31, 2010

The opening sequence is worth the rest of the movie. Kupferman's music is quite inventive in many styles. But the acting is pretty wooden.

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