Thursday, March 26, 2009


Michael Mann, 2001

DP: Emmanuel Luzbeki

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Blogger John said...

Hmmm I think your looking forward to the new film - Public Enemies - oddly enough Ali has been one of my fav's of his films more so than Heat I think which floats along for a long time but maybe its because its Ali himself and I love the bit with the Sam Cooke's - A Change is gonna to come - hold on that is in Ali right

3:15 pm  
Blogger David N said...

I think its possibly his best film, actually, and I see new things in it on every viewing. Its his loosest film, and maybe his most poetic. A Taschen book I have on him calls it "Free associative, like jazz", which absolutely nails it.
And yet its probably the Mann film with the weightiest themes, its just that they're so densely woven into the fabric of the narrative and the characters.

This post was inspired by a viewing of the R1 Directors Cut DVD, which has a few extra scenes, and a few crucial cuts (more CIA in Africa stuff, a bit more boxing). But mainly on this viewing I was just admiring its beauty. Hence the screenshots with no words. I could've done five times as many.

The version of A Change Is Gonna Come is by Al Green, and its not as good as the Cooke original, while still being lovely. The soundtrack does feature "Aint No Way" by Aretha, which more than makes up for it. As does the awesome opening passage, where a Cooke performance is intercut with Ali's preparations for the Liston fight, flashbacks to his childhood and Malcolm X speaking - the best sequence Mann has ever done.

Public Enemies? Obviously...

12:05 am  
Anonymous Hotspur said...

Stunning. Even better than I remembered. I've added a link to these screenshots in the comments of my cinematographers post that we corresponded on recently: You back up my point about Lubezki perfectly.

6:15 pm  

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