Author Topic: Michael Mann  (Read 53062 times)

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MacGuffin

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #165 on: October 26, 2010, 02:18:13 AM »
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Michael Mann Adds Gangster Pic ‘Big Tuna’ & Medieval ‘Agincourt’ As Potential Next Films
Source: The Playlist

Things have a been little bit quiet on the Michael Mann front since his lukewarm and somewhat middling “Public Enemies” last year. He’s currently hard at work on the David Milch-scribed horse-racing world drama HBO series “Lucky” starring Dustin Hoffman. But in a recent interview with the Financial Times, Mann spilled details on the new HBO series and couple more feature film projects he has up his sleeve.

But first, to clear things up, if you think Mann is doing somekind of director’s penance on HBO, guess again. Asked why he gravitated towards “Lucky,” Mann says, “It’s one of the best pieces of writing anyone has ever passed to me.” Add to that the very director-friendly environment and Mann being another advocate for the cable channel, saying that it “isn’t really like any place else. It’s not really analogous to television, which is why they’ve attracted the people they’ve attracted in the last couple of years to do this work. It’s why Marty [Scorsese] would do ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ why Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have worked there. You have a total free hand.”

But Mann’s definitely eyeing a return to the big screen and has added two more projects to his growing slate of potential gigs. First up is “Big Tuna” (no, not about Jim from the “The Office”), which will tell the story of Chicago mobster Tony Accardo (who went by the titular nickname) and his successor Sam Giancana. So what has attracted Mann to yet another crime tale? “Here’s an older man who was the undisputed boss at a time when the Chicago outfit was the most powerful crime element in America. It becomes a classic tragedy of megalomania and hubris,” Mann said.

Also in the works is a bit of a gear change for Mann, the medieval tale “Agincourt.” Based on the novel by Bernard Cromwell, the film will focus “on a young man with a death sentence on his head who is saved when his skills with the bow catch the attention of English king Henry V. The archer develops into a warrior and falls in love with a young woman whose virtue he saved from a lecherous priest, and he becomes the portal to the bloody Battle of Agincourt.” The project is being written by Michael Hirst (”The Tudors,” the Cate Blanchett ‘Elizabeth’ films) who has been developing the script with Mann for over a year now.

Interestingly, Mann admits to the Financial Times that he wishes he had more films under his belt, but says “It’s taken me time in the past to find that thing I want to do.” These are just two more projects on Mann’s plate that currently include a biopic/romance of war photographer Robert Capa that last we heard, had Eva Green attached and the long gestating adaptation of Ernest Hemingway‘s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” that is set up at Warner Bros. Which one will go next, remains to be seen.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #166 on: April 12, 2011, 09:31:01 PM »
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Michael Mann Eyes 'Gold' Hunt As Next Film
BY MIKE FLEMING | Deadline

Michael Mann, who last directed Public Enemies, is closing in on his next picture. He's getting serious about Gold, a contemporary Treasure of the Sierra Madre-type treasure hunt about prospectors and speculators involved in the chase for gold. The project is just taking shape. It had been developed by Paul Haggis, who showed it to Mann as a writing sample for scribes Patrick Masset and John Zinman. Mann liked it so much that he became the director. He's producing through his Forward Pass banner, with Haggis and his Highway 61 partner Michael Nozik. The hope is to begin production late in the year. Mann, who has several potential directing projects that include a film about famed war photographer Robert Capa, an adaptation of the 15th century novel Agincourt based on the Bernard Cornwell novel, and Luck. Mann is exec producing that HBO horse racing series and directed the David Milch-penned pilot. The series stars Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina and Joan Allen.
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polkablues

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #167 on: April 12, 2011, 11:51:54 PM »
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Michael Mann, over the course of a decade, went from making some of the most visually lavish Hollywood movies around to making movies that look like they were shot on a Flip-cam.  It's hard to get excited about going to the theater when it looks like you're watching a YouTube video blown up to cinema-size.

Michael Mann is not so good at digital filmmaking, is what I'm getting at.
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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #168 on: April 13, 2011, 12:11:19 AM »
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Michael Mann, over the course of a decade, went from making some of the most visually lavish Hollywood movies around to making movies that look like they were shot on a Flip-cam.  It's hard to get excited about going to the theater when it looks like you're watching a YouTube video blown up to cinema-size.

Michael Mann is not so good at digital filmmaking, is what I'm getting at.

I totally agree. He was one of the first to do digital as well, which makes it far more interesting. It's like when everyone started using the genesis and red Mann decided he wanted to keep with the first gen cameras.  I think he likes the aesthetic of the bleached out video look, the only other director i know who liked this look was RR; which isn't the best company to keep.  while i dig that he considers it a unique look, it just isn't up my alley.
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JG

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #169 on: April 13, 2011, 08:09:58 AM »
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You didn't like how Collateral looked, at the time at least?

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #170 on: April 13, 2011, 10:03:46 AM »
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You didn't like how Collateral looked, at the time at least?

nope, i didn't like how once upon a time in mexico looked either. I think both movies did a lot to get us to the point of the Red One. However, my main gripe is not understanding why Mann would use that same dated camera for Public Enemies. bleached video look isn't something I'm into.
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Reelist

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #171 on: April 13, 2011, 10:10:00 AM »
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Collateral had its charm going for awhile. It made L.A at night look pretty great, but then towards the end I couldn't get over the feeling that I was watching a cheap showtime movie with good actors in it. Polka is absolutely right, there's something about
HD that makes everything too fluid, and the shit's are so light you don't think twice about picking 'em up and moving 'em around when you have to. As much as ppl like Mann and Rodriguez think it "frees them up" in their creative decisions I think the opposite is true- It's working through the limitations that makes stuff turn out really great in the end. I can understand his decisions to do Collateral and Miami Vice as sort of one off things but when you're doing a period piece about John Dillinger and company on video, I mean, c'mon. Wtf are you thinking? No one's gonna believe that shit.
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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #172 on: April 13, 2011, 10:20:33 AM »
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It's kind of an old argument however, social network was shot on Mysterium-X chipset in a Red and it looks warm in the moments it needs to, only a couple shots could i tell it was HD. Winter's bone was also shot with an older chipset yet they managed to make the cinematography like a dirty 80s movie.

It's just that michael mann refuses to use HD that looks more like film...
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JG

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #173 on: April 13, 2011, 10:35:48 AM »
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when you're doing a period piece about John Dillinger and company on video, I mean, c'mon. Wtf are you thinking? No one's gonna believe that shit.

But what is that grounded in? Why can't you? It all seems very vague to me, rooted in these weird preconceptions about what digital can and can't do...

It's just that michael mann refuses to use HD that looks more like film...

Why does he have to make it look like film? Is the sole purpose of digital to simulate the effect of film?

Gold Trumpet

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #174 on: April 13, 2011, 10:48:17 AM »
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when you're doing a period piece about John Dillinger and company on video, I mean, c'mon. Wtf are you thinking? No one's gonna believe that shit.

But what is that grounded in? Why can't you? It all seems very vague to me, rooted in these weird preconceptions about what digital can and can't do...



I agree with your point that digital should not have a preconception against it to tell a historical story. It reminds me of Francois Truffaut saying the story of Christ should always be filmed in black and white because that's the kind of film technology they would have used back then. It doesn't make sense.

However, digital just needs to jump some belief quarters about its ability to tell a story as well as film can. As other people here have highlighted, The Social Network did an excellent job, but there were some amendments to how it did its version of digital and what technology it was using. Michael Mann is a genre filmmaker and I think he's trying to popularize digital for everyday stories. So far, it hasn't paid off for me and lots of other people. I have no idea if he's not getting specifics right yet about what kind of digital film to use. All I know is that these questions and conversations don't highlight use of film the way it does for digital. As much as the last 10 years has seen amazing advancements, digital is still not enshrined with the viewing public and fully accepted. Michael Mann made one of the prettiest movies in recent memory with Last of the Mohicans and now he's trying to inhabit a new medium for his talents. Just hasn't happened yet. I doubt it will in his lifetime.

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #175 on: April 13, 2011, 11:14:44 AM »
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when you're doing a period piece about John Dillinger and company on video, I mean, c'mon. Wtf are you thinking? No one's gonna believe that shit.

But what is that grounded in? Why can't you? It all seems very vague to me, rooted in these weird preconceptions about what digital can and can't do...

It's just that michael mann refuses to use HD that looks more like film...

Why does he have to make it look like film? Is the sole purpose of digital to simulate the effect of film?


yes that is the goal. at least that's the goal of every development in digital photography. HD has less range, especially the type he chooses to use. i will concede that his version of HD would be the equivalent of shooting on super 8 (which i feel has a great look to it) in the HD medium. I just don't like the bleached out look, it feels lazy. The more analog the image looks, the more i like it. That's why i don't mind a degraded film aesthetic, yet dislike the digital counterpart.

i get it's ultimately subjective. however his brand of HD only separates the audience from the emotional impact of the scenes; which could also be his intent. I personally feel that type of image creates a middle man to the story that is undesirable. he should be allowed to do whatever he wants, but i just don't like it.  It's the same feeling i get when i read a book that has been laser printed on over bleached processed paper. I prefer the printing press on a pulp base, as it feels more intimate.
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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #176 on: April 13, 2011, 01:37:37 PM »
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when you're doing a period piece about John Dillinger and company on video, I mean, c'mon. Wtf are you thinking? No one's gonna believe that shit.

But what is that grounded in? Why can't you? It all seems very vague to me, rooted in these weird preconceptions about what digital can and can't do...


because it looks more like a re-enactment on the fucking History channel than an actual movie..
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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #177 on: April 13, 2011, 02:49:53 PM »
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when you're doing a period piece about John Dillinger and company on video, I mean, c'mon. Wtf are you thinking? No one's gonna believe that shit.

But what is that grounded in? Why can't you? It all seems very vague to me, rooted in these weird preconceptions about what digital can and can't do...


because it looks more like a re-enactment on the fucking History channel than an actual movie..

 :yabbse-thumbup:

exactly, it just looks budget.
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wilder

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #178 on: April 13, 2011, 07:06:20 PM »
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I can definitely see how his recent output is really, really divisive. I hated both Miami Vice and Public Enemies when I first saw them...and only in rewatching them with totally revised (re: blank slate) expectations did I start to see them differently. I think Michael Mann of the 90s basically commit suicide and was reborn - his early 2000s output, Ali and Collateral, were an experimental bridge towards his most recent style, fully forming with Miami Vice and Public Enemies. While these last two features may still take place within the world of crime and echo themes from his early work, the angle he's coming at the material from is entirely new and I would argue practically through the eyes of a different filmmaker. They are deceptive in that their loglines and marketing trick you into thinking they follow the well-known Michael Mann lineage, but I don't think Miami Vice and Public Enemies use remotely the same kind of film language his earlier movies do.

This is a review from Mubi user Jack Lehtonen that I think really captures at least what I personally see in his last two movies, being more about states of mind than the dually internal/external narratives he executed before.

Quote from: Mubi user Jack Lehtonen
Perhaps more than those of any other filmmakers, the current films of Michael Mann and Claire Denis, particularly their respective masterpieces Miami Vice and L’intrus, speak more clearly and succinctly to the post-9 11 frame of mind, the nightmare shadowland of shifting perspectives that is the 21st century. Revolutionary in their cinematic methods, Mann and Denis are rapidly evolving beyond the abilities of their contemporaries, creating a cinema that is both primal and wholly new. Miami Vice and L’intrus focus on the transient, the abstract, the unnameable. Their shimmering surfaces offer us glances into a fractured state of being, a world struggling to find a sense of identity.

Both Miami Vice and L’intrus can be placed among the sensualist films of contemporaries such as Terrence Malick and Wong Kar-Wai. But Denis and Mann pushthe boundaries more aggressively than their fellow sensualists. The melancholy brought on by Miami Vice and L’intrus is far too pervasive and penetrating to allow them simply to be deemed sensualist films.

Both films understand and process the post-9 11 mindset far more accurately and hauntingly than any ham-fisted Oliver Stone or Michael Moore piece. Both pictures are fragmentary, gliding across uncertain surfaces, struggling to identify themselves. No films capture the flux and isolation of a fractal, paranoid world shaken and divided, constantly in a shift of identity, better than Miami Vice and L’intrus.

The crime plot of Vice is rendered both nearly-unintelligable and obsolete by Mann’s abstraction. It is a maelstrom of chaos, an extremey adept and cunning stand in for the 21st century globe. The characters are drowning in a sea of technology and constant information, all blending into a dehumanizing storm of stimuli, rendering our midnight warriors lost amidst a landscape of blurred lights and florescent skies. The characters strive for emotional contact and consolation, a primal peace hidden amongst the digital world, most clearly represented by Colin Farrell’s mournful and longing gaze into the deep blue of the ocean, an escape impossible for him on his quest. It is the smallest of moments, the soundtrack of voices fading away as Farrell’s eyes gaze through the window into the horizon of the sea. But it’s already over, he is pulled back into the plot, and the inherently meaningless cop babble continues.

Farrell’s relationship with Gong Li’s character is an attempt, beautifully tender but ultimately futile, to gain a hold on real human emotion. They abscond to Cuba in his sleek speed boat, literally zooming into the escape he so desperately longed for, the chasm of the ocean’s horizon line. This Cuba segment is the most crystalline portion of the film. Love blossoms under the tropical sun, and the film finds a moment of quiet peace, the world suddenly intelligable and perceivable. But a deep well of melancholy underscores the proceedings, built on a foundation of lies and hopelessness. Farrell’s identity is hidden to Li, he is a cop to her criminal, but the moral distinctions between them have been erased. They are both lost souls wandering through the night, desperately seeking contact. But their love is doomed, because she is the woman of the film’s central drug dealer, and he is a partner and, unbeknownst to her, a cop. His sense of identity is compromised by his love for a criminal, his prey, and ultimately, rather than solidifying him as he would hope, his passion only furthers his separation from a concrete self. He is destined to roam Miami’s luminous landscapes of light a lonely, weary soul. His partner, Jamie Foxx, is more stable in his identity and relationships, but his world is supported by fragile foundations. His sense of identity does not make him invulnerable to the chaos.

Michel Subor’s central, enigmatic protagonist of Claire Denis’ L’intrus is a step beyond Colin Farrell’s character in Vice. An old man, he has been separated from his identity and emotional connections for a longer duration of time, living amongst nature in solitude, escaping the mysterious truths of his place in the world at large. His past is obscured, with no clear explanations of what actions defined him for others. Subor, threatened with death via heart ailment, must leave his solitude and reenter a world wary of him. Encountering his son for the first time in years, Subor is met with bitterness, revealing a resentment. In what is perceivably a dream, he is dragged through the snow by two people on horseback. He explains that he had already payed, but a mysterious blonde woman, present throughout several sequences, informs him that he shall never stop paying. There is a hidden and unrevealed guilt in this man’s past responsible for the perceptions others hold of him.

Subor is utterly alone in the world, moving like the faintest wisp of a soul from locations as varied as France and South Korea. He possesses no definite center, no true self, and on his voyage he attempts to recapture an indentity, a new heart, but his body rejects it and he is left as vacuous as before. He, like the souls of Vice, is desperate for contact, but is ultimately incapable of giving it. His lover towards the beginning of the film, after sex, is abandoned in bed as he wanders his home at night, stoically killing an intruder on his property. His attempt to touch the dog keeper played by Beatrice Dalle are spurned, again hinting at an unknown past of transgression, her calling him crazy. In a beautiful sequence, a sense of genuine emotion, more transient even than Farrell and Li’s affair, occurs in a South Korean bar well into the night. Subor and a Korean bond over drinks and the Elvis song “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, a brief respite from loneliness, Subor even cracking a genuine smile and laughing with real warmth. It’s just a glance, a moment, of true human contact. Subor remains an abstraction, but his humanity, however obscure, briefly surfaces as he bonds over alcohol and Elvis. But the moment is over, and he presses on into the unclear once more.

Farrell and Subor’s quests for identities and contacts both end in failure, not for lack of trying, and both are left wanderers of some form or another. They are twenty-first century individuals in the truest sense, lost in the flux of the world, grasping at vivid glimpses of something more, but remaining isolated and unidentifiable. Both are tragic figures, unable to find themselves, and facing futures as abstract as their own sense of being. Their crises of identity and stability are potent representations of the modern world. Denis and Mann achieve this without setting out to achieve it, without politics or grand statements. These films are simultaneously insular and expansive, containing no on-the-nose symbolism to drive across ham-fisted and hollow points. Rather, they occupy the world of the individual, and say things without saying them, represent things without representing them. They are obscure and clear, fleeting visions of the fractured conscience of a world lost.


Long story short, the audience who gets amped on the trailers for Miami Vice and Public Enemies is ultimately not the audience they're intended for, and the audience they are intended for probably won't go to see them in the first place. To me both of these movies are edgier, in terms of blowing accepted conventions of filmmaking completely out of the water and pushing for a whole redefinition of filmmaking styles, than most of the indie output of the past five years. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit here, but aside from low-light capabilities and logistical ease arguments, I think he chooses to shoot on video the way he does now in order to divorce the viewer of preconceived notions about the kind of stories he tells so that they might be more accepting or conscious of his new radically different filmmaking style and attempt to compare his recent work to what he was trying to do in the 90s less, since I don't think the goals of his most recent films are anywhere near comparable.

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #179 on: April 13, 2011, 10:25:59 PM »
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you know what I think? His 'films' look like shit now and he needs to learn how to use a tripod.
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