Hit Me (1996) ***

Hit Me (1996) was a bit of a letdown, but still a very strange and interesting film.

I assumed that I rented it because it was directed by Steven Shainberg (Secretary (2002), Fur: An Imaginary Portrait Of Diane Arbus (2006)), but it was actually because the film is based on a Jim Thompson novel called A Swell-Looking Babe (1954), which I have not read.

There are definitely traces of Thompson's style on display (a rainy scene on a rooftop is particularly "noirish"), but overall the tone is not distinctively his (and just weird a lot of the time). I'm interested to read the novel to see how the two compare. At times, this felt like it could have been a Paul Thomas Anderson film (and, coincidentally, it shares two actors from three of his films and another from There Will Be Blood (2007)). One thing is for sure - Shainberg is a unique filmmaker - none of the three films of his are alike.