All the "Body Heat" Has Cooled

I was going to make a post about how hot it's been in Southern California the last few days, but it got not only cold but gloomy out here in the last day or so. I think there might even be a chance of rain. I was going to use the weather, the record-breaking weather, to put up some screencaps of a film that uses uncommonly (or too commonly) warm temperatures as a backdrop, but now it seems sort of inappropriate. I thought "Do the Right Thing" but that doesn't take place in California - and our brand of heat is different from theirs (or theirs is, ahem, more violent than ours, figuratively and literally). And it seemed too easy. Then I thought "In the Heat of the Night," but I haven't seen it yet (for shame, I know). "Cool Hand Luke" would be a nice one and it came to mind as well, but its themes of comaradery against The Man ("What we have here is a failure to communicate...") might not fit the sense of urgency for political unity that's permeated every conversation and media story of late. (I also want to do a post all about Paul Newman since I'm about to make some purchases of his films, and I don't want it to be overkill.) Me thinking about this for too long coupled with my busy schedule (senior thesis, presentations, etc.) which led to the heat passing on by, and I started to think my opportunity for minimal cleverness (current events + movie with similar themes/motifs = clever!) was gone. But, then again, the heat will return... so I suppose this post can be in anticipation of the heat's rearrival. Thus: Lawrence Kasdan's directorial debut and Kathleen Turner's debut in Hollywood, aptly titled "Body Heat."

I know this movie takes place in Florida, but the landscape and climate's similar to ours in California, and who doesn't love a nice neo-noir every once in awhile? It's also got Ms. Turner looking mighty fine (she's still worth somewhat of a look, I guess, but that sultry voice has certainly gotten its wear and tear and is sounding a bit unappetizing, see "Marley & Me" for an example of that) not to mention a wonderfully strange supporting performance by Ted Danson, and Mickey Rourke pre-boxing/surgery/breakdown as an arsonist. And William Hurt is great, actually very sexy and every bit an equal to Kathleen Turner's smoldering juiciness. (Ummm... NSFW, but that's a given.)

It's sort of disappointing how the presence and motif of heat isn't so apparent in these stills while being readily so in motion, but that must've been intended on Kasdan's part. Don't want it to be obvious and tiring before the end, right? The film, I think, is an adequate reappropriation of the plot founded in Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity" but I would really recommend seeing the former before seeing this one -- accentuates the effect the unbearable Florida weather has on both the aesthetics (as a color film, versus "Indemnity" which is in black and white) and the flow of the plot. Heat makes people do crazy things, throw a beautiful woman in the mix and you're bound for disaster.

What's your favorite movie set against hot weather?

IMAGES from: Digital Dingus
[PS: I'll be disappearing for another week or so because of school-related business, but will be back thereafter. Lots to cover, so I better be back soon, I want to chronicle and comment on some of these things. Wish me luck!]

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