This discussion of Body Double (1984) between film fans from different generations assumes that you’ve seen the film. But if you haven’t—or have, but need a plot refresher--here’s a synopsis:
Actor Jake Scully (Craig Wasson) experiences a debilitating episode of claustrophobia on the set of a low-budget horror film. Dismissed for the day, he discovers his girlfriend Carol making love to another man. Later, he learns that he has been fired from the movie. Since Carol owned the house they shared, Jake needs to find new lodgings. His luck improves when another actor, Sam, offers a house-sitting gig. One of the perks of the observatory-like house is a telescope aimed at the window of an attractive woman who performs a provocative dance routine every night. Jake becomes obsessed with his "window" neighbor, but becomes concerned when he spies another man watching and following her. (Body Double is rated R for adult themes, nudity, and violence.)
Sark: In keeping with the idea of deception in the form of acting, it's interesting that Jake's "real life" is the Hitchcockian world. His girlfriend betrays him, he's allowed to stay in an extravagant house, he spies on his beautiful neighbor and eventually shadows her. He's no longer on the movie set, but his life is a movie. And, as we learn, these occurrences in his life are for a "role" that's been scripted for him. And he still can't act, just like in his class. But when he moves beyond the "movie," he enters the adult film industry, and it seems more real than his life. That's because, in actuality, it is real, whereas he was previously being set up as the witness. But he's great as the producer. So he essentially steps off the movie set again. Only this time, he's making his own film, and doing a darn fine job of acting. It's funny that he tells Holly he's interested in her starring in one of his films. He's lying to her, but in another way, he's being truthful. She's in his movie, and I guess that would mean Jake is making a sequel to Sam's movie, right?
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