Eight drug addicts are waiting for their connection in a New York apartment belonging to Leach. Jim Dunn, a budding filmmaker, has agreed to pay for the fix if the addicts will allow him to film the connection scene. After the men get their shots, they talk Dunn into trying heroin in order to understand the subject "first hand." He becomes ill and while sleeping, Leach takes an overdose that puts him into a coma. Dunn recovers, with the aid of the connection, and writes off the film as a failure.Written by
Avant garde filmmaker Shirley Clarke's first feature length depicts eight inner city heroin addicts waiting for dealer "Cowboy" to deliver the goods. Filming and underwriting the moment JJ Dunn (Clarke alter ego?) bargains with the junkies to do his bidding as he creates his fictionalized reality but is undermined by his cameraman and cajoled by the participents into a taste.
Based a play by Jack Gelber, Clarke retains the jazz band to drape the nod in background music and perpetuate the stereotype to keep things percolating among the assembled degenerates as well as director Dunn who is funding the entire project including the heroin. All the participants have to offer though are tales of self pity and resentment with an occasional grimy "profoundity" to spit out over a near two hour running time. Clarke to her credit makes no attempt to soften this self destructive lot but the viewer being asked to remain in the same room over those two hours with this crowd is one trying and annoying experience. Controversial in its day, The Connection has not aged well. The shock of topic and depiction then has become a shrug today.
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