6 items from 2017
How one Dp captured and defined the juxtaposition of glamour and grime.
Like most major metropolitan areas of the United States, Los Angeles is a juxtaposition of fortune and failure. It’s a city where lifelong dreams are made and crushed every hour of every day, a city that’s home to some of the wealthiest people in our culture, and simultaneously a city that has one of the largest homeless populations in the country. It’s a city of angels and devils alike, the two often co-mingling so even the salvation in Los Angeles seems to come with tinges of sin. On screen, this translates to a landscape that’s both glitzy and grimy, a place of promise and also a spiritual purgatory.
These reasons and more are why not only is Los Angeles the capital of the American filmmaking industry, it’s also the setting for so many films. In »
- H. Perry Horton
Michael Mann never stops fussing with his movies. Earlier this year, yet another cut of “Ali‘ hit Blu-ray, and this follows “Thief,” “Manhunter,” “The Last Of The Mohicans” and “Blackhat“ all getting new cuts (though the latest version of the latter hasn’t yet hit home video, but it screened last year in New York).
- Kevin Jagernauth
American cinema in the Seventies through to the early Nighties was populated with the kind of leading characters you don’t see enough of any more – no nonsense, amoral tough guys, often on the wrong side of the law, rugged complexions lines with life, who start off mean and don’t get any nicer by the closing credits.
Director Sam Peckinpah’s brilliantly brutal and bloody Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) features a prime example of this. Bennie, played by Warren Oates (pictured above), is a down on his luck bartender whose ears prick up when $1 million dollars is offered for the titular, potentially suicidal deed – but as Bennie says, ‘nobody loses all the time’. It’s possibly Oates’s finest performance as the tequila-soaked bounty hunter who, the more outgunned he is, the more savage his becomes. It’s also one of Peckinpah’s greatest films, and nicely encapsulates the violent, »
- Phil Wheat
Michael Mann is never quite finished with his movies. “Thief,” “Manhunter,” and “The Last Of The Mohicans” have all been issued in director’s cuts, and last year, Mann overhauled “Blackhat” and presented a significantly changed new edit at Bam Rose Cinemas (there’s still no word on if this version will ever see the light of day on home video or streaming).
- Kevin Jagernauth
“Times change,” director Michael Mann says of what prompted him to revisit his 2001 Muhammad Ali biopic “Ali” for a “commemorative edition” Blu-ray. The new cut hits shelves today, on what would have been Ali’s 75th birthday. “What I was interested in, particularly now, was making more tangible the forces that were raised against him, all his adversaries, and linking them in a strong way.”
A director’s cut of the film was released in 2004, injecting eight-and-a-half minutes of material that both amplified the political strife of the times and deepened Ali’s kinship with sports journalist Howard Cosell, among other things. For the new release, Mann has pulled some of those Cosell elements back while keeping the political material in tact, shaving and trimming elsewhere for the shortest cut yet — though one still clocking in at a robust 151 minutes.
“It’s a combination of expanding certain things and compressing others, »
- Kristopher Tapley
By Todd Garbarini
William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A., which opened on Friday, November 1, 1985 to lukewarm notices and underwhelming box office despite being championed by Roger Ebert’s four-star review, is a highly stylized, dark, and uncompromising crime thriller that boasts a then-unknown cast with a story and a pace that feels more suited to the 1970’s. It also contains what I consider to be the greatest car chase ever filmed and edited for a major motion picture, which took no less than five weeks to plan and shoot. Having seen Mr. Friedkin’s brilliant East Coast police thriller The French Connection (1971) on VHS in 1986, I made it a point the following year to catch up with his West Coast-based story of a Secret Service agent, Richard Chance (William Petersen), whose best friend and partner Jim Hart (Michael Greene) has been murdered by artist/currency counterfeiter Rick Masters »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
6 items from 2017
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