Cinema: Short Takes: Dark City

A Ravishing Visual Trip to a Strange Land

With feel-good comedies and soapy ship operas dominating commercial cinema, the visionaries are in retreat. Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) and Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall) have renounced the form. That leaves the creation of dank, luscious worlds within worlds to Alex Proyas. And he'll do fine. The Egyptian-born, Australian-raised director of The Crow has a chilling new fever dream called Dark City--a reminder of how sensuous a visual trip movie watching can be.

John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes up in a strange room with a dead woman. Who is she? he wonders. For that matter, who is he? In this dark city,...

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