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DARK CITY

SYNOPSIS:
John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes up alone in the bath of a strange hotel room to find that he is wanted for a series of brutal murders. But there is a blank where he used to have a memory: he simply doesn’t know whether he is guilty or innocent. Pursued by Detective Bumstead (William Hurt), Murdoch, while trying to solve the twisted riddle of his identity, discovers a fiendish underworld controlled by ominous beings known as The Strangers. These black-robed figures posses the ability to stop time and alter physical reality through a process known as Tuning - a power which Murdoch realises he, too, possesses. This makes him a threat to The Strangers, who try to destroy him. In his quest to save himself, he is aided by psychiatrist Doctor Schreber (Kiefer Sutherland) and his wife and childhood sweetheart Emma (Jennifer Connelly).

"The cinematic vision that propels Dark City is powerful and cohesive: somewhere deep within Alex Proyas’ mind there exists a swirling pool of images which are fantastic and splendid, even if they are at times incomprehensible. This is clearly movie magic, but Proyas has to take a greater grip on storytelling and characterisation to make it the masterpiece it could have been. I am in awe of his cinematic language, his ability to conjure with images, to suggest, to deepen the impact and to mesmerise with metaphysics and imagination. But there are odd discords: Kiefer Sutherland is allowed to wallow in mannerisms as a stuttering doctor; the exposition is far too complex for accessibility; the detective (William Hurt) is from a different movie; the central character, John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) is not clearly established in the first half so we have no connection to the film in human terms. . . Yet the film has a grip, an inexplicable attraction with its enormous energy and unique, all-embracing universe. And there is a sensitive humanity in the final message (final because we don’t get it until the last quarter) and a bid for eternity in the handling of the finale, which leaves us uplifted yet vaguely frustrated all at once."
Andrew L. Urban

"Alex Proyas’ vision is a striking cinematic work with stunning production design and technology that grabs and sustains interest. Conceptually intriguing, Proyas’ fluid direction evokes a comic-book feel to this noir sci-fi thriller. What he manages to do so well is to create a mood which settles and filters through to the subconscious, until we are immersed in this dark, mysterious world. Much of the action is revealed cinematically with minimal words - to mesmerising effect, a little at a time, allowing us to think, deduce and assume various parts of the plot. Rufus Sewell is impressive leading man material, with his darkly handsome, charismatic looks and appealing calm. I just don’t buy Kiefer Sutherland’s overdone, breathy, mannered persona as the psycho psychiatrist. But watch out for Colin Friels, who is terrific in a supporting role. Dark City takes us to an ominous, dim world of the future, where time stands still, the sun never shines and individual memories are transferred and mixed, as simply as colours on an artist’s palette. Are we the sum of our memories? Or is there more to the complex human beings that we are? Filmed at Sydney’s new Fox Studios on the largest indoor set ever built in Australia, Dark City is bewitching and engaging entertainment, enhanced by a thrilling score by Trevor Jones, which captures the mood and takes us far, far away, beyond the sun, into a world of forgotten memories."
Louise Keller

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ALEX PROYAS

Andrew L. Urban goes
ON SET

Read about the EFFECTS

DARK CITY (M)
(US)

CAST: Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennnifer Connelly, Richard O’Brien, Bruce Spence, Colin Friels

PRODUCER: Andrew Mason

DIRECTOR: Alex Proyas

SCRIPT: Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs, David Goyer

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dariusz Wolski

EDITOR: Dov Hoenig

MUSIC: Trevor Jones
PRODUCTION DESIGN: George Liddle

WORLD WIDE SALES: New Line Cinema

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 6, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: August 9, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

RRP: $24.95







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