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Cover art forMission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible

Aug 25, 2023

Still my favorite of the bunch, I have distinct memories of the Entertainment Weekly Summer Movie Preview issue with a big shot of the aquarium scene and breathless coverage of Cruise’s controversial hairstyle.

Did not know who De Palma was at the time, but I fell in love with his central obsession: what the camera chooses to reveal, and to hide—and the difference between what you saw and what you understood. Lots of folks called it incomprehensible on release, but maybe that’s simply due to De Palma actively using dialogue as misdirection, with the visuals telling the real story. (It makes me remember a conversation with a director friend who talked about how tv couldn’t assume your undivided attention, so it often used dialogue as a crutch to reinforce what you might have missed onscreen while you were cooking/cleaning/chatting with friends.)

These days (by how much I enjoy revisiting them): 1 > 5 > 4 = 6 > 2 = 3