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MugShot (1996)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  April 1996 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 16 users  
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A white guy wakes up in a deserted building in Harlem with no money, ID, and no memory of how he got there. He has also been beaten up when a black man finds him and tells him its not safe ... See full summary »

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Title: MugShot (1996)

MugShot (1996) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Christopher Surgent ...
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David Frank ...
Mark
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Storyline

A white guy wakes up in a deserted building in Harlem with no money, ID, and no memory of how he got there. He has also been beaten up when a black man finds him and tells him its not safe to be on the streets alone. Helping the man home, the black guy decides to use the man's apartment, possessions, boss, and girlfriend to change his life forever. Written by Anonymous

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Crime | Drama

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April 1996 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Know why the caged bird sings
23 July 2003 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This is a quiet, intelligent indie about a young, black would-be photographer/gang member who keeps a professional white photographer hostage. The plot is somewhat contrived since the white guy conveniently has amnesia after being beaten by the gang, and there are a couple of scenes in the film that seem rather unlikely (like him being blindfolded and handcuffed in public). However, the storytelling techniques, which are comprised of flashbacks and camera setups that make NYC seem like another planet, are used very effectively to illustrate motivation and desperation. The overall ambiance of the film is chillingly obscure, but the characters (especially Michael K Williams) give it all a penetrating warmth. And I have to say as a non-professional photographer, I think this film has some of the best looking still images I've seen in any film about photography. But don't believe that this is just another one of those artsy-fartsy student film type pictures. This film has intelligent, fascinating characters, images that alternate between beatific, surreal, frightening and sterile, and a clever use of music and sound effects. I should point out that there is a line of dialogue here and there that gets lost in some of the poor sound recording, but they are few and far between, and I felt that the muted sound quality overall helped the sense of claustrophobia. Smart new filmmakers with limited budgets know how to make use of limitations like these, and Matt Mahurin seems to be no exception. He's obviously a filmmaker who has innovative ideas on issues of race, identity and the lure of power. I hope he'll continue to make films, but I hope no one gives him a lot of money to do so since after all, it's not about how slick the film looks, it's how deeply its images penetrate your mind. On that level, this film succeeds brilliantly.


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