The Movie Thread


If you ever thought that there is something ominous in modern society, watch this. Great movie.
 

Nice, a slow-paced movie from wilderness. Created in 2021, directed by a female director, I was prepared to hit delete if some Hollywood propaganda will appear but surprisingly there was none.
 
Showed my younger brother Heat (1995) with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Gets better everytime I watch it. It took a lot of inspiration from some great films that came before and clearly inspired a lot of shows that came after.
Check out the deleted scenes:

And watch the original TV production from 1989 which is like Beta Heat, which implemented almost all of the deleted scenes, pretty funny how they expand the movie and take out some good bits:

 
From earlier movie chats on RVF:

"Heat took decades in the making.

Many have complained this days that there is no originality anymore.
A Celebrated Fashion designer complained 15 years ago that in his day (the 80s) his peers would find inspiration everywhere around them in the urban environment.

These days, he complained, the next generation are just 'biting' something that someone else has just 'bit' from someone else in previous years. And that, in itself, was a 'bite' from earlier designers who actually went looking for inspiration.

Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy, explained how he got alot of the outlandish shapes in his comics from spending ages sitting in his apartment sketching the streets, the light fittings, cornices and general environment outside.

Julia Cameron, the author of the Artists Way, said that these days most artists desperately cast around for new ideas. They look for new and fresher content to inspire them.

She argues "Our problem is actually Too Much Content. We need to dis-connect, clear our minds."

There's already enough sources of inspiration in our imaginations.

All artists are thieves.
Its a question of whether they are good thieves or bad ones.

A case in point of a good thief is Michael Mann and Heat, his masterpiece.

He was working on that for decades. He wrote alot of the screenplay for 70's movie Straight Time with Dustin Hoffman in it.

That was a great film and an adaptation of No Beast So Fierce by ex-con Edward Bunker who decades later worked as consultant on Heat.

In the book Bunker describes leaving prison after decades as being like a time traveller into a science fiction future, the language, the music, the customs of this vaguely recognisable world are all different. Crucially, he says this as his character descends into a pedestrian underpass.

In his later film Thief Jame Caan is almost a time traveller emerging from decades in prison and trying to negotiate a hostile world.

Mann describes how he wanted to describe the city as a system, as a series of tunnels and networks that the mind of his titular character is increasingly melded with.

The motif of car following roads under bridges and underpasses is frequent. The Thief is negotiating the alien system that is undermining him at every turn.

"If somebody asked me, 'What's "Thief" to you?': To me, it's a left-extensionalist critique of corporate capitalism. That's what "Thief" is. What is interesting is that no critics in the U.S. got that, no critics in the U.K. got it."

The evil man that the Thief is working for sourced him an infant, (his wife is barren) delivered to his door at midnight. then he takes away his patronage and threatens wife and newly adopted child "People'll be eating 'em for lunch tomorrow in their hamburgers and not know it."

An opaque system that chews you up (jail) and spits you out. Will do the same to your kids.

The opaque windows of the office buildings that the Thief scopes out. Just like the opaque glass canyons of downtown LA in Heat's climactic shoot out.

In the film are John Santucci (ex-Chicago thief) and Chuck Adamson (ex-Chicago cop) who told him the story of the real life Neil McAuley and their real life coffee meeting that Heat immortalised. Mann's grandfather had been a taxi driver in Chicago and had known alot of the high line thieves in Chicago.

Line in Heat screenplay, Jon Voight: (on Pacino's character Hanna) "he blew away Frankie Yonder in Chicago.. and he was a f***ing maniac."

Mann spent years and years from when he was an arts student in Chicago bussing tables (diner scene in Thief/ Breedon short order cook in Heat) steeping himself in the world of the Underworld City and the story of Heat.

He directed a dry run of it in the 80's (LA Takedown) in a very short time but in Heat you see the fruition of decades of work, plus attention to detail, not least the influence of Ex-SAS Andy McNab and others who trained De Niro Val Kilmer et al to a high proficiency in handling guns and who gave Mann the idea for the climactic shoot-out.

He has never fully admitted to the influence of French Director Melville and his 1960s film "Un Flic" on his work but the borrowing is obvious. The blue filter, the abstract expressionist style, the symmetry of the cop and villain who share the same problems and existential angst and who are inexorably drawn to a final climactic confrontation a la Heat.

But most critics don't know where his real theft came from.

Thats a good thief. Shakespeare (No. 1 all time English bard) is the one poet in the English Language that one can't find his source lyrics for. You can find Milton's (No. 3 All time) source lyrics in some of Chaucer (No. 2). But Shakespeares lyrical influences are to an extent a mystery.

THAT is a good thief. Because no doubt he had many influences.

Mann's biggest influence was Kubrick.

"I wasn't really interested in cinema until I saw Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), alongside a set of films by F.W. Murnau and Georg Wilhelm Pabst for a college course. These were a revelation. I'd already seen some of the French New Wave and some Russian films, but the idea of directing, of shooting a film myself? Never. Prior to "Strangelove", it simply had not seemed possible that you could work in the mainstream film industry and make very ambitious films for a big mainstream audience. .. as a young man I found that intensity very exciting"

So sure.. we see the abstract expressionist style or Dr Strangelove and the basic plot of Kubrick's "the Killing" that he borrowed from.

But the real homage was to 2001. The soundtrack is the biggest clue. The ambient, constantly expanding soundtrack and the almost futuristic abstract world of the high line thieves in their hockey masks with their assault rifles elongated by the Big Screen, the radio masts and the data that Tom Noonan's character could just reach out and 'scoop up'.

That tension between the sense of space and anomie in the movie, and the confined choices, limited options of the cast of ex-cons and the cops pursuing them in cat and mouse fashion.

THAT is a Thief.

Because Hollywood has lifted every aspect of Heat for the last two decades trying to bottle Lightning.

Every Ben Affleck Heist movie is a desperate attempt to create another Heat.

The last few Fast and the Furious movies have had so many obvious borrows from Heat.

When it came out it caused quite a stir amongst actors and film people. Many said that they had never looked at LA in the same way that they saw it presented in the film. they saw their own city as if it was strange and new.

People have often said that Mann would direct a great Bond movie.

And if you watch Skyfall the thieving is apparent.

Mendes said in press releases that he had to strip out all the architecture of a Bond Movie and 'imagine' something completely new and fresh before putting the Bond paraphernalia back in.

What a liar.

The whole back from Turkey sequence in Skyfall:

Bond stares at a reflection of a TV screen (Manhunter/ Michael Mann) The camera follows M up the steps to her apartment (Manhunter). Bond goes to China and tails the guy on the Freeway (Pacino chases down De Niro on the Freeway in Heat) Takes the elevator which flies up away from the camera (identical iconic shot from Manhunter) Takes sniper shot whilst confused by different moving shadows and reflections (Pacino and De Niro LAX airport shootout) the list goes on..

In comparison to Mann and Heat..


What a useless thief.""
 

Sombro

Ostrich
Imagine Anthony Hopkins as a Bond-like agent.
He tends to pull it off, even though there's a low-budget feel. A lot of the direction is iffy, and the sole shooting location seems to be a Scottish isle. Score is a Bond rip-off, though I'm a sucker for that style of music. And Nathalie Delon is easy on the eyes.
You can enjoy it on a "Camp" level without it insulting your intelligence, unlike some of the lesser Bond flicks.
Full movie on youtube.

 
From earlier movie chats on RVF:

"Heat took decades in the making.

Many have complained this days that there is no originality anymore.
A Celebrated Fashion designer complained 15 years ago that in his day (the 80s) his peers would find inspiration everywhere around them in the urban environment.

These days, he complained, the next generation are just 'biting' something that someone else has just 'bit' from someone else in previous years. And that, in itself, was a 'bite' from earlier designers who actually went looking for inspiration.

Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy, explained how he got alot of the outlandish shapes in his comics from spending ages sitting in his apartment sketching the streets, the light fittings, cornices and general environment outside.

Julia Cameron, the author of the Artists Way, said that these days most artists desperately cast around for new ideas. They look for new and fresher content to inspire them.

She argues "Our problem is actually Too Much Content. We need to dis-connect, clear our minds."

There's already enough sources of inspiration in our imaginations.

All artists are thieves.
Its a question of whether they are good thieves or bad ones.

A case in point of a good thief is Michael Mann and Heat, his masterpiece.

He was working on that for decades. He wrote alot of the screenplay for 70's movie Straight Time with Dustin Hoffman in it.

That was a great film and an adaptation of No Beast So Fierce by ex-con Edward Bunker who decades later worked as consultant on Heat.

In the book Bunker describes leaving prison after decades as being like a time traveller into a science fiction future, the language, the music, the customs of this vaguely recognisable world are all different. Crucially, he says this as his character descends into a pedestrian underpass.

In his later film Thief Jame Caan is almost a time traveller emerging from decades in prison and trying to negotiate a hostile world.

Mann describes how he wanted to describe the city as a system, as a series of tunnels and networks that the mind of his titular character is increasingly melded with.

The motif of car following roads under bridges and underpasses is frequent. The Thief is negotiating the alien system that is undermining him at every turn.

"If somebody asked me, 'What's "Thief" to you?': To me, it's a left-extensionalist critique of corporate capitalism. That's what "Thief" is. What is interesting is that no critics in the U.S. got that, no critics in the U.K. got it."

The evil man that the Thief is working for sourced him an infant, (his wife is barren) delivered to his door at midnight. then he takes away his patronage and threatens wife and newly adopted child "People'll be eating 'em for lunch tomorrow in their hamburgers and not know it."

An opaque system that chews you up (jail) and spits you out. Will do the same to your kids.

The opaque windows of the office buildings that the Thief scopes out. Just like the opaque glass canyons of downtown LA in Heat's climactic shoot out.

In the film are John Santucci (ex-Chicago thief) and Chuck Adamson (ex-Chicago cop) who told him the story of the real life Neil McAuley and their real life coffee meeting that Heat immortalised. Mann's grandfather had been a taxi driver in Chicago and had known alot of the high line thieves in Chicago.

Line in Heat screenplay, Jon Voight: (on Pacino's character Hanna) "he blew away Frankie Yonder in Chicago.. and he was a f***ing maniac."

Mann spent years and years from when he was an arts student in Chicago bussing tables (diner scene in Thief/ Breedon short order cook in Heat) steeping himself in the world of the Underworld City and the story of Heat.

He directed a dry run of it in the 80's (LA Takedown) in a very short time but in Heat you see the fruition of decades of work, plus attention to detail, not least the influence of Ex-SAS Andy McNab and others who trained De Niro Val Kilmer et al to a high proficiency in handling guns and who gave Mann the idea for the climactic shoot-out.

He has never fully admitted to the influence of French Director Melville and his 1960s film "Un Flic" on his work but the borrowing is obvious. The blue filter, the abstract expressionist style, the symmetry of the cop and villain who share the same problems and existential angst and who are inexorably drawn to a final climactic confrontation a la Heat.

But most critics don't know where his real theft came from.

Thats a good thief. Shakespeare (No. 1 all time English bard) is the one poet in the English Language that one can't find his source lyrics for. You can find Milton's (No. 3 All time) source lyrics in some of Chaucer (No. 2). But Shakespeares lyrical influences are to an extent a mystery.

THAT is a good thief. Because no doubt he had many influences.

Mann's biggest influence was Kubrick.

"I wasn't really interested in cinema until I saw Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), alongside a set of films by F.W. Murnau and Georg Wilhelm Pabst for a college course. These were a revelation. I'd already seen some of the French New Wave and some Russian films, but the idea of directing, of shooting a film myself? Never. Prior to "Strangelove", it simply had not seemed possible that you could work in the mainstream film industry and make very ambitious films for a big mainstream audience. .. as a young man I found that intensity very exciting"

So sure.. we see the abstract expressionist style or Dr Strangelove and the basic plot of Kubrick's "the Killing" that he borrowed from.

But the real homage was to 2001. The soundtrack is the biggest clue. The ambient, constantly expanding soundtrack and the almost futuristic abstract world of the high line thieves in their hockey masks with their assault rifles elongated by the Big Screen, the radio masts and the data that Tom Noonan's character could just reach out and 'scoop up'.

That tension between the sense of space and anomie in the movie, and the confined choices, limited options of the cast of ex-cons and the cops pursuing them in cat and mouse fashion.

THAT is a Thief.

Because Hollywood has lifted every aspect of Heat for the last two decades trying to bottle Lightning.

Every Ben Affleck Heist movie is a desperate attempt to create another Heat.

The last few Fast and the Furious movies have had so many obvious borrows from Heat.

When it came out it caused quite a stir amongst actors and film people. Many said that they had never looked at LA in the same way that they saw it presented in the film. they saw their own city as if it was strange and new.

People have often said that Mann would direct a great Bond movie.

And if you watch Skyfall the thieving is apparent.

Mendes said in press releases that he had to strip out all the architecture of a Bond Movie and 'imagine' something completely new and fresh before putting the Bond paraphernalia back in.

What a liar.

The whole back from Turkey sequence in Skyfall:

Bond stares at a reflection of a TV screen (Manhunter/ Michael Mann) The camera follows M up the steps to her apartment (Manhunter). Bond goes to China and tails the guy on the Freeway (Pacino chases down De Niro on the Freeway in Heat) Takes the elevator which flies up away from the camera (identical iconic shot from Manhunter) Takes sniper shot whilst confused by different moving shadows and reflections (Pacino and De Niro LAX airport shootout) the list goes on..

In comparison to Mann and Heat..


What a useless thief.""
The real Neil was street-smart and ballsy, but more sociopathic than the one De Niro portrays. Guys like that, if they were around nowadays, would give the law huge problems. He spent a majority of his adult life in various prisons, including The Rock. So when he was out in the street he was either making moves or planning one. All 3 heists the movie shows were borrowed from real events from his life (truck with bonds, metal depository / jewels, bank in broad daylight) but each were changed a bit, and in real life the crew were killed after the daylight robbery in Chicago (which was at a department / grocery store combo common in the 60s) and only one got away and disappeared (the one Val Kilmer was based off of, a Hungarian immigrant whose last name was Shiherlis). The other names, Cherrito (Tom Sizemore) and Breedon (black all-state guy) were almost identical to the other two in Neil's crew in real life, I believe they were Michael Parille and Russell Breedon, and they too were gunned down in alleyways after the daylight heist. The coffee scene happened in real life more akin to the way it was shot in L.A. Takedown than in Heat, was a small world back then, though much larger than life, and Adamson and McCauley just happened to cross each others paths while one was picking up some dry-cleaning. Watch the documentary making of the movie, its more entertaining than the movie itself. I don't claim to know anyone from those days, but I had a great uncle that was in the thick of it, would talk about fences and bookies and such, parents would remember his stories as I wasn't around him much. He would say this about the 60s, "It was a great time to make your mark on the streets," but those times are forever gone now. All the thugs nowadays are chumps or snitches. Nobody really carves their own path anymore. He passed away when I was a kid living in seclusion with his ill-gotten gains somewhere in south Florida, which was typical for someone in his line of work. Some of them live in Nevada and Arizona as well. The East-Coast and Midwest weather wears on guys like that harder than most.

So in a way, you're right, its all thievery. "Heat" was a futurist take on the rampant and open-season time of high line criminals of the 50's 60's and 70's. Although I'm still convinced there are guys like Kelso out there lol
 
The real Neil was street-smart and ballsy, but more sociopathic than the one De Niro portrays. Guys like that, if they were around nowadays, would give the law huge problems. He spent a majority of his adult life in various prisons, including The Rock. So when he was out in the street he was either making moves or planning one. All 3 heists the movie shows were borrowed from real events from his life (truck with bonds, metal depository / jewels, bank in broad daylight) but each were changed a bit, and in real life the crew were killed after the daylight robbery in Chicago (which was at a department / grocery store combo common in the 60s) and only one got away and disappeared (the one Val Kilmer was based off of, a Hungarian immigrant whose last name was Shiherlis). The other names, Cherrito (Tom Sizemore) and Breedon (black all-state guy) were almost identical to the other two in Neil's crew in real life, I believe they were Michael Parille and Russell Breedon, and they too were gunned down in alleyways after the daylight heist. The coffee scene happened in real life more akin to the way it was shot in L.A. Takedown than in Heat, was a small world back then, though much larger than life, and Adamson and McCauley just happened to cross each others paths while one was picking up some dry-cleaning. Watch the documentary making of the movie, its more entertaining than the movie itself. I don't claim to know anyone from those days, but I had a great uncle that was in the thick of it, would talk about fences and bookies and such, parents would remember his stories as I wasn't around him much. He would say this about the 60s, "It was a great time to make your mark on the streets," but those times are forever gone now. All the thugs nowadays are chumps or snitches. Nobody really carves their own path anymore. He passed away when I was a kid living in seclusion with his ill-gotten gains somewhere in south Florida, which was typical for someone in his line of work. Some of them live in Nevada and Arizona as well. The East-Coast and Midwest weather wears on guys like that harder than most.

So in a way, you're right, its all thievery. "Heat" was a futurist take on the rampant and open-season time of high line criminals of the 50's 60's and 70's. Although I'm still convinced there are guys like Kelso out there lol
As a long time fan of the movie, fantastic to get more background info like this.

Mann seemed to really soak up the flavor of all the various professions and whilst he repeats some stock phrases in all his films its refreshing to hear Jim Caan arguing in legal terms about things like 'probate' in Thief and using what seemed to be genuine lingo when arguing in a diner (supposedly Santucci took a long time teaching him how to handle the tools of the job properly as well).
By way of contrast these days all the screenwriters seem to be thugs and chumps as well..

I know that Mann is/was a gun club member and very much into firearms, acoustics and ammunition.
It seems that the final bank shoot-out in Heat was influenced by the Miami FBi shoot-out (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986_FBI_Miami_shootout) which fascinated Mann and consultants Andy MacNab and Mick Gould's description whilst on-set of a provo ambush in 1980s Northern Ireland that McNab and his SAS comrades had to shoot their way out of.

Anyway thanks for the info.
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Woodpecker
The real Neil was street-smart and ballsy, but more sociopathic than the one De Niro portrays. Guys like that, if they were around nowadays, would give the law huge problems. He spent a majority of his adult life in various prisons, including The Rock. So when he was out in the street he was either making moves or planning one. All 3 heists the movie shows were borrowed from real events from his life (truck with bonds, metal depository / jewels, bank in broad daylight) but each were changed a bit, and in real life the crew were killed after the daylight robbery in Chicago (which was at a department / grocery store combo common in the 60s) and only one got away and disappeared (the one Val Kilmer was based off of, a Hungarian immigrant whose last name was Shiherlis). The other names, Cherrito (Tom Sizemore) and Breedon (black all-state guy) were almost identical to the other two in Neil's crew in real life, I believe they were Michael Parille and Russell Breedon, and they too were gunned down in alleyways after the daylight heist. The coffee scene happened in real life more akin to the way it was shot in L.A. Takedown than in Heat, was a small world back then, though much larger than life, and Adamson and McCauley just happened to cross each others paths while one was picking up some dry-cleaning. Watch the documentary making of the movie, its more entertaining than the movie itself. I don't claim to know anyone from those days, but I had a great uncle that was in the thick of it, would talk about fences and bookies and such, parents would remember his stories as I wasn't around him much. He would say this about the 60s, "It was a great time to make your mark on the streets," but those times are forever gone now. All the thugs nowadays are chumps or snitches. Nobody really carves their own path anymore. He passed away when I was a kid living in seclusion with his ill-gotten gains somewhere in south Florida, which was typical for someone in his line of work. Some of them live in Nevada and Arizona as well. The East-Coast and Midwest weather wears on guys like that harder than most.

So in a way, you're right, its all thievery. "Heat" was a futurist take on the rampant and open-season time of high line criminals of the 50's 60's and 70's. Although I'm still convinced there are guys like Kelso out there lol
Today, the politicians have become the true Mafia. Government apparatus has become too big for McCauley types. Back then, the states growth was done in the name of fighting gangsters. Yesterday, it was done in the name of fighting terrorists. Today, it's done in the name of keeping you "healthy" and keeping everybody "equal."
 

ball dont lie

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Watched The Player last night. I wouldn't label it a classic but a pretty entertaining movie. I'm not a big fan of Altman, but I liked this one. Basically bashes Hollywood for being mostly made up of talentless suits.

Watched this last night. Excellent movie.

It reminds me of a Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which kind of makes fun of film-noir, but that movie breaks the 4th wall sometimes in ways that The Player doesn't.

The cinematography in The Player is 10/10. Sometimes a movie will have good shots but this movie goes way beyond that. Its hard to tell if its going into absurd levels of technique, almost like a Spinal Tap this machine goes to 11.
 

renotime

Ostrich
Gold Member
Watched this last night. Excellent movie.

It reminds me of a Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which kind of makes fun of film-noir, but that movie breaks the 4th wall sometimes in ways that The Player doesn't.

The cinematography in The Player is 10/10. Sometimes a movie will have good shots but this movie goes way beyond that. Its hard to tell if its going into absurd levels of technique, almost like a Spinal Tap this machine goes to 11.
I forgot to mention that opening long shot. Beautiful.

I finally got around to watching Rolling Thunder. Reminds me a lot of Taxi Driver, which makes sense since Paul Schrader wrote the original script. I think I had half off on watching it because it's just so dark. But it's one of Tarantino's favorite films, so I had to give it a watch.

Great performances. William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones doing so much without doing anything at all. You can just tell they've been through hell and they don't have to say a word.

I especially like the ending when they play the soft John Denver like song after all the carnage. 3.5 stars out of 4, in my opinion.
 

Jünger

Ostrich
I watched A Clockwork Orange again last year. Another example of Kubrick's use of others' texts for his own purposes?

One reading of the film is as a dark, slanted allegory for England’s history as a conquering nation from 1066 to its eventual post-WW2 shrinking to be too afraid to fight or conquer anymore.

The droogs represent England, or English martial spirit. As the the film begins, they assault an old drunk hobo singing Molly Malone (representing Ireland), a group of similar ruffians (representing Scotland) who are about to rape a girl and jump off a stage (the Scottish Highlands, or perhaps just north of the English border generally) to fight the English, and, finally, successful assault against a cultured, peace-loving old man and his beautiful wife (representing either Wales or France). In all the assaults, the ruffians make no apologies, and, in fact, later, in sequence are seen walking around wearing various hats of other martial nations, showing the same conquering, harsh martial spirit has been alive in others.

All of this is brought to a halt when their schemes get them caught. The leader of the martial spirit is brainwashed to hate violence (English pols who apologize for creating an Empire and conquering and/or are now too milquetoast to fight, like Chamberlain), while his former fellow cohorts abuse him (internal civil strife), as does his former victims (victim culture).

But there is an upside(?). By bringing him so low, the conditioning is broken, and his old violent martial spirit returns.
 

Cr33pin

Peacock
Gold Member
Showed my younger brother Heat (1995) with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Gets better everytime I watch it. It took a lot of inspiration from some great films that came before and clearly inspired a lot of shows that came after.
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