Mikey & Nicky (Elaine May, 1976)

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ando
Bringing Out El Duende
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Mikey & Nicky (Elaine May, 1976)

#1 Post by ando » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:43 pm

Image

Well, while this film is alluded to in several posts there is no actual Mikey & Nicky thread that I could discern so I decided to start one. I just picked up the HomeVision DVD (1.85 : 1 aspect ratio, extra feature interviews, etc). Not having watched it in about 10 years I wondered if it still holds up as a classic example of ad hoc filmmaking. Ok, perhaps that's not fair, but I don't know that you'd find many members of the crew for the film in complete disagreement. Be back with new impressions...

Props55
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Re: Mikey & Nicky (1976)

#2 Post by Props55 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:40 pm

Can't address the film itself as I've only seen it once on HBO about 25 years ago. However, your mention of the ad hoc nature of the filmming and the crew brought to mind an old anecdote. I recall that my old boss Bobby Visciglia once told me that months after the film wrapped (or rather shooting was abruptly curtailed) he was driving along a downtown L.A. street and recognized Peter Falk working with a skeleton crew. He pulled over to say hi and ask what he was working on. Falk just shrugged his shoulders in his inimitable style and replied, "Reshoots on MIKEY AND NICKY, what else?"

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jbeall
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Re: Mikey & Nicky (1976)

#3 Post by jbeall » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:13 pm

What does "ad hoc filmmaking" mean?

I bought the dvd back when it was released (based on Dave Kehr's strong recommendation). The liner notes go into detail about the film's troubled history, including May hiding reels of footage with her analyst b/c the studio was demanding that she release whatever she had. And apparently Cassavetes, Falk and May wrote, rewrote, and rewrote the dialogue over and over.

I thought it was a very engrossing film--it took awhile for me to get into, but at some point I was hooked, and the end is fantastic.

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ando
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Re: Mikey & Nicky (1976)

#4 Post by ando » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:34 pm

jbeall wrote:What does "ad hoc filmmaking" mean?
That just means using whatever means you have at your disposal to properly serve the moment at hand. Moreover, in this case, it means going to great expense in terms of time and energy in order to get to the essence or truth of each scene so that it has resonance far behind its own confines. The friendship between Mikey and Nicky is specific, but in deeply exploring the specifics May and company illuminate issues we all go through in our relationships. Naturally it's in retrospect that I used the term ad hoc, learning only after I'd seen the film of the lengths that the cast and crew went to in order to nail the scenes. The film thankfully doesn't feel ad hoc (though there are some obvious signs). It's a great experience - but one that is earned through a decidedly improvised, cut-and-paste, rather on-the-spot kind of resourcefulness. But don't get me wrong, this rawness, especially given the grittiness of The Village, New York circa 1976, is a salient feature.

But exactly WHERE was that black bar? :lol:

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hearthesilence
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Re: Mikey & Nicky (1976)

#5 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:08 pm

Heads up, MoMA is screening that on Wednesday, Aug. 8th at 7pm.

It's part of their 'recent acquisitions' program, so I'm guessing it's the same print they showed last fall as part of their restoration festival, so it should look as good as this film can look.

FWIW, Elaine May actually gave an introduction to this film at the restoration festival screening - sizeable crowd, but I was surprised it wasn't a full house since it showed at their smaller theater (same one as this screening). Anyway, she was very funny and gave a wonderful, detailed introduction, wish someone filmed it. I remember the details, but I couldn't do it justice, the delivery was what made most of it funny.

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ando
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Re: Mikey & Nicky (1976)

#6 Post by ando » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:06 pm

Merde. :? Five days too late.

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CyRo3
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Re: Mikey & Nicky (1976)

#7 Post by CyRo3 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:00 am

Any status on this film being given a physical blu-ray and DVD release from Criterion? Any rumors? News? Speculations?

This is one of my favorite films of all time, and I would love to own it with all of those famous Criterion supplements.

I know Elaine May has had a phantom page on Criterion's website for a while, but I am not sure if it is because they only have exclusive rights to license the film through streaming services, or if maybe they have had it in their backlog for so long they have completely forgotten about it.

Any ideas or anything would be greatly appreciated!

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