The Black Dahlia
DIRECTOR: BRIAN DE PALMA
CAST: JOSH HARTNETT, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, AARON ECKHART, HILARY SWANK
SCREENPLAY - JOSH FRIEDMAN
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY - JAMES ELLROY
CINEMATOGRAPHY - VILMOS ZSIGMOND
De Palma goes full noir in this lurid and lush Vilmos Zsigmond–shot adaptation of the James Ellroy novel, a dramatization of the events surrounding the gruesome, unsolved real-life murder of a wannabe Hollywood starlet. A never-better Josh Hartnett dons a heck of a fedora as a detective on the case, while sultry scene-stealers include Hilary Swank, Scarlett Johansson, and . . . k.d. lang? The Black Dahlia features a particularly great example of a De Palma single-take set piece, involving the body’s discovery, and a self-referential sequence updating a similar one from Greetings in which a young woman is captured on camera while a creepy male voice—De Palma himself!—talks to her from off-screen.