Michael Mann

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carmilla mircalla
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Re: Michael Mann

#101 Post by carmilla mircalla » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:29 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:He also intimates that he may go back to film for that one, after seeing Heat on the big screen.
Thank god. Miami Vice and Public Enemies are literally hard to watch.

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Re: Michael Mann

#102 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:40 pm

I like what he's done with digital, but it's only tolerable for me if it's in the original AR. I don't mind watching cropped movies generally, but Miami Vice stood out as being very unwatchable when done that way.

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Re: Michael Mann

#103 Post by criterion10 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:46 pm

Public Enemies is the only one that looks really off in digital -- all the rest have a really unique look and vibe aesthetically, but it would be interesting to see Mann return to film.



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Re: Michael Mann

#106 Post by oh yeah » Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:41 am

That sounds interesting, but I'd much much rather just get the actual film on DVD/Blu finally. Watching it a second time recently (I hated it the first time), I was really enamored by a lot of things about it -- even if the strongest points by far are undoubtedly the music and cinematography -- and honestly I think that even in its butchered state it casts a certain unique, dreamlike spell which all in all I find more interesting than the Hollywood-y Collateral and Last of the Mohicans, or maybe even the great debut of Thief. It's a wonderful aesthetic experience even if the acting is largely stiff, plot coherence kind of goes out the window at the start, and the dialogue is not so good at all -- which is kind of fitting considering how much Murnau and other silent/German Expressionist directors are all over the film, influence-wise. Call it Mann's Zabriskie Point -- it's not as great as that film, but quite similar in that it's a very maligned work, a critical and financial disaster by a great director which I nonetheless love, and which prizes aesthetic immersion over traditional narrative storytelling. Or maybe a better comparison would be to Lynch's Dune, which is another second or third feature by a promising filmmaker that's made in a genre and on an epic scale completely different from the director's other films; I think The Keep is much better and freer/less hampered by convention than that (very) interesting failure, though.

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Re: Michael Mann

#107 Post by George Drooly » Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:39 am

oh yeah wrote:Call it Mann's Zabriskie Point -- it's not as great as that film, but quite similar in that it's a very maligned work, a critical and financial disaster by a great director which I nonetheless love, and which prizes aesthetic immersion over traditional narrative storytelling.
I think it's garbage, and his second worst film after the atrocious Blackhat. At least Zabriskie is, as far as I know, original; The Keep is little more than a ridiculously misguided attempt to cash in on the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark, as it transparently apes the latter film's Nazi/archaeology imagery and supernatural mumbo jumbo.

I'm wondering about the supposed "science fiction" film he spoke of making a few years ago. I certainly hope it wasn't Blackhat, and I hope he lives long enough to make whatever it might be.

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Re: Michael Mann

#108 Post by petoluk » Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:56 pm

George Drooly wrote:The Keep is little more than a ridiculously misguided attempt to cash in on the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark, as it transparently apes the latter film's Nazi/archaeology imagery and supernatural mumbo jumbo.
Um, I may have misunderstood your comment, but the "Nazi/archaeology imagery and supernatural mumbo jumbo" are all part of F. Paul Wilson's book the film is based on, and while it's true that Raiders had been released 2 months before the book was published, I don't believe Wilson was that quick to ape / try to cash in on the success of the film. :wink:

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Re: Michael Mann

#109 Post by George Drooly » Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:26 pm

petoluk wrote:
George Drooly wrote:The Keep is little more than a ridiculously misguided attempt to cash in on the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark, as it transparently apes the latter film's Nazi/archaeology imagery and supernatural mumbo jumbo.
Um, I may have misunderstood your comment, but the "Nazi/archaeology imagery and supernatural mumbo jumbo" are all part of F. Paul Wilson's book the film is based on, and while it's true that Raiders had been released 2 months before the book was published, I don't believe Wilson was that quick to ape / try to cash in on the success of the film. :wink:
You don't think studios greenlight projects that follow successful trends? I'm not suggesting the source material's author was derivative, but certainly the studio was, at that moment, more inclined to fund this story, than, say, something else. And the result suffers from lack of personal vision and idiosyncrasy on Mann's part.

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Re: Michael Mann

#110 Post by oh yeah » Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:51 am

George Drooly wrote:
oh yeah wrote:Call it Mann's Zabriskie Point -- it's not as great as that film, but quite similar in that it's a very maligned work, a critical and financial disaster by a great director which I nonetheless love, and which prizes aesthetic immersion over traditional narrative storytelling.
I think it's garbage, and his second worst film after the atrocious Blackhat. At least Zabriskie is, as far as I know, original; The Keep is little more than a ridiculously misguided attempt to cash in on the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark, as it transparently apes the latter film's Nazi/archaeology imagery and supernatural mumbo jumbo.

I'm wondering about the supposed "science fiction" film he spoke of making a few years ago. I certainly hope it wasn't Blackhat, and I hope he lives long enough to make whatever it might be.
Ah, well I loved Blackhat, too -- albeit not quite as much as Miami Vice and Public Enemies, which strike me as more substantive and fully-formed works whereas Blackhat is more of an auteur piece/"fans only" exercise in digital luminosity. So we'll have to agree to disagree. I certainly would have seconded your thoughts before my second viewing of The Keep recently, but I just find there's so much to admire in it even if it doesn't quite all coalesce into a "successful" whole. Sure, it's trying to cash in on all kinds of trends -- it kind of plays like if Murnau made a glossy Tangerine Dream music video in the early 80s on a gigantic budget -- but it's so batshit insane, so rivetingly weird and hypnotic, that I think it leaves most of its more superficial influences, like Raiders and the like, in the dust. And though it's not as obviously personal a project as Thief or Heat or Miami Vice, I still think it comes from the heart. Like I said before, it's basically Mann channeling his love for German Expressionism as well as fairy-tales (as read by guys like Bettelheim) into an entire film. In that respect it's a key step in his evolution as an artist. You can see the influence of Lang and Murnau and the rest in Manhunter and in Thief, but by Heat and certainly Ali Mann had basically made the move from Expressionism to Impressionism -- a career-long evolution shared by many other directors, e.g. Lynch. And as far as the film not being idiosyncratic, I'd say it's easily the weirdest of his films. The bits of more standard 80s blockbuster filmmaking that are in there only make it all seem weirder for being so otherwise full of oddities.

It's one of those films I love but that I can't really put together a cogent defense for it objectively being a great film -- again, similar to Zabriskie Point as well as Ferrara's New Rose Hotel and Mann's own theatrical adaptation of Miami Vice, though those are all much greater films whose merits I'd much more easily defend.

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Re: Michael Mann

#111 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:47 am

I've been watching the Collateral Blu-ray on and off for most of the week now. It's that rarest of movies, in that it has a commercial feeling to it, but still manages to have a depth that only he can bring to what he does. There are bits and pieces of everything else he's done, but the movie it reminds me the most of (at least in the beginning anyway) tonally is the first Die Hard. The first 15-20 minutes are all about setting up the characters, while establishing some sense of geography that the action takes place in. It's more stricter in McTiernan's case because it's just one building and not the several locations of Los Angeles that Mann used.
Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Michael Mann

#112 Post by oh yeah » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:42 am

I'm actually currently visiting Los Angeles, and as far as I'm concerned one of the great achievements of Collateral is the way its images forever recur in my mind whenever I come to this city -- especially at night (the more recent Nightcrawler accomplished precisely the same thing, though for an eerily fluorescent-lit, post-halogen streetlight LA). Oddly, although I think Heat is a far better film, it somehow doesn't embody this certain visual archetype of the city nearly as much.

The Mann film I'm most interested in at the moment, though, is Ali, which remains infinitely re-watchable and which I'm convinced is one of Mann's finest. My girlfriend said recently after seeing it for the first time that it was her favorite of all his films (she has unusual taste: her other favorites are Blackhat, Last of the Mohicans and Public Enemies, while she disliked Heat, Collateral and Miami Vice). And for the first time I could actually really understand that viewpoint; the film no longer strikes me as being nearly as "flawed" as it used to, and its virtues only become more luminous and poetic with time.

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Re: Michael Mann

#113 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:28 am

Do you have the director's cut which came out in 2004? That's my preferred version though I'd probably need to see them back to back to confirm this. I recently read he's working on a new cut of it that includes some scenes that were aired when the film was on CBS, but didn't make it on to the '04 disc.

It's a wonderful film and would agree that it's one of his finest as well. It captures the period with as little rose-tinted nostalgia as possible, giving it more of a documentary feel in places. It was actually the film I thought of most when I watched Public Enemies, as it had that similar off-kilter approach to the period piece.

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Re: Michael Mann

#114 Post by Drucker » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:56 pm

Brooklyn Academy of Music just tweeted out that there will be a full Mann retrospective this February.

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Re: Michael Mann

#115 Post by oh yeah » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:31 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Do you have the director's cut which came out in 2004? That's my preferred version though I'd probably need to see them back to back to confirm this. I recently read he's working on a new cut of it that includes some scenes that were aired when the film was on CBS, but didn't make it on to the '04 disc.

It's a wonderful film and would agree that it's one of his finest as well. It captures the period with as little rose-tinted nostalgia as possible, giving it more of a documentary feel in places. It was actually the film I thought of most when I watched Public Enemies, as it had that similar off-kilter approach to the period piece.
I have the director's cut, but I haven't watched it yet. I'm interested to see it; from what I've read, the differences are fairly minimal but big for Mann who typically just makes a few tiny little changes. I think I read that it mostly emphasizes or fleshes out the whole FBI angle and their involvement with Malcolm X's murder? I love the material of that nature we do get in the theatrical cut so that sounds promising. The sequence of his assassination is absolutely stunning.

Regardless of the version, it's a unique film in his oeuvre in that it has the impressionistic feel of his digital films yet it's still shot on the most sumptuous-looking celluloid, mostly handheld work by Lubezki (except, of course, for the snippets of grainy digital throughout, which are sublimely deployed -- particularly the love scene between Ali and his first wife, beautifully cross-cut with music from the club they met at). It certainly mirrors Public Enemies possibly more than any of Mann's other films, as both are lyrical and unconventional biopics about these mythical figures which trade the usual egocentric biopic structure for a kind of rich contextual portrait which is just as much, if not more, about the times that shaped the man as it is about the man himself. Both films are also deeply interested in the politics of media and how such burgeoning forces -- small in Dillinger's day but booming in Ali's -- distort and mold reality. I have to wonder how much his upcoming Enzo Ferrari film will follow in these two films' footsteps.

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Re: Michael Mann

#116 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:44 am

The runtime is 8 minutes longer than the theatrical cut, but it's a little more significant in that there's 5 minutes cut out and 14 minutes put into that particular cut.

He talks a bit more about the cut he would like to see for a Blu-ray release here. Interestingly, he's also asked about Drive and the many comparisons that has been made to his work in it.

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Re: Michael Mann

#117 Post by Drucker » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:50 pm

BAM retrospective schedule up and Thief is playing in 35mm.

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Re: Michael Mann

#118 Post by criterion10 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:24 pm

Drucker wrote:BAM retrospective schedule up and Thief is playing in 35mm.
Hopefully someone can report back on the print's color timing.

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Re: Michael Mann

#119 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:53 pm


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Re: Michael Mann

#120 Post by oh yeah » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:03 pm

Ouch, that's a real shame. I'm not Bale's biggest fan by any means (his turn in Public Enemies was actually the finest work I've seen from him, though even that had its shaky moments), but I think he could have pulled Ferrari off. And this does not bode too well for the film's future if it's missing a lead actor with just a few months left until the shoot. Hopefully Mann will be able to find someone fitting and manage to pull a rabbit out of his hat; God knows he's come out strong against the odds many times before...

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Re: Michael Mann

#121 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:26 pm

At least he had good enough reason to. The kind of physical transformations he's gone through (especially in The Machinist) could not have been easy but at least he was young enough to pull it off.

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Re: Michael Mann

#122 Post by oh yeah » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:56 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:At least he had good enough reason to. The kind of physical transformations he's gone through (especially in The Machinist) could not have been easy but at least he was young enough to pull it off.
That is true, yeah. I'm now trying to think of actors who would make a good Ferrari, and I'm having a strangely hard time. Someone elsewhere online proposed Oscar Isaac, and I think that's within the realm of possibility. Hmm... I think getting an actor of Italian descent would be preferable, though certainly far from necessary.

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Re: Michael Mann

#123 Post by FrauBlucher » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:17 pm

Bale's drastic weight swings over the last ten years is catching up to him. The body can't take that. I commend him for his efforts but that's some serious stuff he's messing with.

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Re: Michael Mann

#124 Post by oh yeah » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:37 pm

I'm thinking DiCaprio might be good in this role.

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Re: Michael Mann

#125 Post by Ribs » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:40 pm

I know he dropped out for different reasons but this is already seemingly very similar to when Bale dropped out of Steve Jobs.

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