March 25, 2015
‘Honest (maybe?) conversation about race’ alert: TCM airs ‘Bone’ (1972) this weekend
Nearly half a century after the fact, BONE [aka HOUSEWIFE] plays as a primer for Larry Cohen’s societal preoccupations and a dartboard for the institutions (politics, religion, big business) he has long angled to bring down. Though seeming to play the race card, the film focuses more squarely on interfamilial relations, as the best Cohen films: the father-son dynamic of BLACK CAESAR and HELL UP IN HARLEM, the parental guilt of IT’S ALIVE and its sequels, and the broken homes that serve as a springboard for suspense in PERFECT STRANGERS (1984), SPECIAL EFFECTS (1984), THE STUFF, and WICKED STEPMOTHER (1989) are echoes of the relationship (or lack thereof) of the Lennicks to one another and their missing son.