Author Topic: Michael Mann  (Read 52990 times)

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wilder

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #180 on: April 13, 2011, 11:42:47 PM »
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Great.

Gold Trumpet

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #181 on: April 14, 2011, 04:46:09 AM »
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It's an interesting idea, wilderesque, but the reason it isn't convincing to me is because while Michael Mann is completely rebooting his style, the stories are no less generic, in the genre sense, than any of his previous films. In fact, the style attachment of digital filmmaking to each of his films, feel like easy style attachments done by filmmakers like Nicholas Ray. For fans of genre style, my comparison to Ray is high compliment, but it bears reminder that what Ray did then and Mann does now does is done with a high sense of artificiality. The article you shared tries to make a case there is an extra level of internalization with what Mann is doing. Sure, in a layer of style, it may be, but I never found any of the stories less generic. All the films the article compares to what Mann is doing has no little of genre conventionality so the writer is only reading one level of Mann's attempt to internalize his stories.

wilder

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #182 on: April 14, 2011, 05:46:28 AM »
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I see it a bit differently. In Thief and Heat, Mann's protagonists live by a strict code of honor that they break for love. Their work is all-consuming and so treacherous that intimacy becomes a threat to their very survival, but intimacy is the need. Ultimately these protagonists break their own codes and end up paying for it, usually with their lives. There are existential moments of reflection, but the plot elements take center stage.

In Miami Vice and Public Enemies, identity is what's at stake, and while the protagonist's objects of affection are still threats to their survival and compromise their work, the need for stasis, not necessarily love, is the theme at large - a genuine human relationship is the thing that's going to suck them down from the ether and put them back on earth.

I feel a bit shady doing this, but I'm going to copy and paste some thoughts I posted elsewhere:

Quote from: wilderesque
“No past no future.” Miami Vice and Public Enemies are as much about identity and the impossibility of a narrative line defining the characters as they are about their external plots and doomed love stories. The whole idea of the myth of John Dillinger, in the sense of his identity being something that almost belongs to other people, or is only understood in the context of its reflection back to him through the media and other people’s eyes (exemplified most literally in the final scene in the movie theater where Dillinger is watching MANHATTAN MELODRAMA, in which Clark Gable is playing a character influenced by Dillinger) is especially interesting I think. The character is working tirelessly to maintain self-ownership and self-preservation while otherworldly forces work equally as tirelessly to rob these fundamental things from him.

The men in these movies are all lone wolves without support systems who must find the will to live and move forward within themselves once they have lost the narratives that fulfilled them before. Their positions isolate them and set them so far outside the societies they’re born into that they might as well be floating in outer space. In one of the ‘Sight & Sound’ polls Mann cited THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (1928) as one of his favorite films, and while his own movies may not be as blatantly emotional as PASSION, I can definitely see similarities in the underlying spiritual ideas he’s trying to communicate with the audience.

Dillinger becomes irrelevent because the world he knew and came from is becoming irrelevent - technology and the intelligence-gathering procedures of law-enforcement are evolving faster than he knows how to keep up, and so his place in the world as he knew it is compromised and put in jeopardy.

Also applicable is this passage from Joan Didion's essay 'The White Album', in which she writes this:

Quote from: Joan Didion
We live entirely...by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the "ideas" with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.

Or at least we do for a while. I am talking here about a time when I began to doubt the premises of all the stories I had ever told myself, a common condition but one I found troubling.
[...]
This was an adequate enough performance as far as improvisations go. The only problem was that my entire education, everything I had ever been told or had told myself, insisted that the production was never meant to improvised: I was supposed to have a script, and had mislaid it. I was supposed to hear cues, and no longer did. I was meant to know the plot, but all I knew was what I saw: flash pictures in variable sequence, images with no "meaning" beyond their temporary arrangement, not a movie but a cutting-room experience. In what would probably be the middle of my life I still wanted to believe in the narrative and in the narrative's intelligibility, but to know that one could change the sense with every cut was to begin to perceive the experience as rather more electrical than ethical.

I would argue that that very mindset is what Michael Mann is going for, and that the conventional narratives still present in these movies are necessary because they are supposed to fulfill the character's function, and no longer do. They have to be present as a backdrop for the characters to be separate from, or separating from, for us to understand this as a viewer.

wilder

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #183 on: April 18, 2011, 06:47:32 AM »
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First look at 'Luck'

http://youtu.be/p8yOQJ288GQ

wilder

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #184 on: May 16, 2011, 12:37:45 PM »
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Michael Mann Confirmed To Direct Historical Epic ‘Agincourt’
via The Playlist

Since 2009’s underwhelming “Public Enemies,” a fascinating example in style that simply doesn’t work as a movie, Michael Mann has been beavering away on “Luck,” a HBO collaboration with “Deadwood” writer David Milch, with a cast including Dustin Hoffman, Michael Gambon, Ian Hart, John Ortiz, Dennis Farina and many more. But he’s remained undecided as to his next big-screen project, with a number of possible films percolating.

There’s the Hemingway adaptation “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” the wartime photographer biopic “Capa,” possibly with Andrew Garfield and Gemma Arterton, another period gangster tale, “Big Tuna,” from “Up in the Air” writer Sheldon Turner, and, most recently, the contemporary prospecting adventure “Gold,” from writer Paul Haggis, but none has yet come to the front of the pack. One of the more intriguing, out-of-the-box possibilities has been “Agincourt,” an adaptation of the Bernard Cornwell novel that retells the famous battle between Henry V’s English army, and the French, which Mann was developing with “Elizabeth” and “The Tudors” writer Michael Hirst. And it looks like that project just got something of a boost.

Screen Daily reports that Independent, the production company run by Luc Roeg, the son of filmmaking great Nic Roeg, is in Cannes unveiling its new slate, fresh off the success of Lynne Ramsay‘s “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” and the announcement was headed up with confirmation that Mann will indeed direct “Agincourt” for the company. “RKO 281” director Benjamin Ross is currently re-writing the script, with Roeg saying the project now has momentum, although the company are waiting for the film to be fully developed before they go out to studios for full financing—no start date is yet planned, but the shoot will likely take place in France and the United Kingdom.

Mr. Merrill Lehrl

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #185 on: May 26, 2011, 06:32:45 PM »
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Fox, Mann rev up 'Go Like Hell'
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118037661

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Mann is nearing a deal with 20th Century Fox to direct "Go Like Hell," the true story of the furious competition between Ford and Ferrari in 1966, when an American car won the Le Mans for the first time.

Based on the tome by A.J. Baime, script was penned by Jason Keller with Alex Young and Lucas Foster producing through Foster's Warp Film shingle.

Story follows Henry Ford II -- with the help of young automotive whiz Lee Iacocca and racing maven Carroll Shelby -- as the future gearhead giants set about reinventing the Ford Motor Co. by entering the high-stakes world of European car racing. In a handful of years they developed the Ford GT40, one of the most celebrated cars in automotive history, which became the first American car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans (and went on to win four years running).

Brad Pitt was considered for the lead, but no casting decisions have yet been made.

Mann, whose career has been mostly comprised of crime dramas, has stayed busy of late, lining up several directing projects including "Waiting for Robert Capa" and "Big Tuna" as well as exec producing and directing the pilot for the HBO horse-racing series "Luck." It's uncertain at which film project would be his next.

Mann is repped by CAA. Keller is repped by Management 360.
“If I had to hold up the most heavily fortified bank in America,” Bolaño says, “I’d take a gang of poets. The attempt would probably end in disaster, but it would be beautiful.”

wilder

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #186 on: June 15, 2011, 02:59:44 AM »
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I was scanning Niles Schwartz's blog, which Picolas linked to in The Tree of Life thread, and happened upon an entry he made on Michael Mann -- there's some overlap here with some posts I made earlier, but his writing is much more in-depth...

Quote from: Niles Schwartz
Unlike Heat, where almost every actor in the crowded story is given a juicy scene that clearly establishes an identity (as an ensemble film, it ranks with Altman's best work – and thus as a crime genre ensemble, it stands alone), time in Mann's more recent work is moving ahead so fast that there's no room (no time, no space) for an individual to establish Identity, where even the protagonist is struggling to hang on under the weight of this immense gravity that pulls the Self into a black void. Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) in The Aviator (whom Johnny Depp's John Dillinger resembles) wants to go faster, fly higher, and create bigger cinematic worlds than ever witnessed, his context for reality transformed into a space in front of a projected desert on a screen that lays its geography on his own naked body. His technological innovations and assimilations with those technologies of "The Future" – "the way of the Future" – eventually swallow him in a darkness of complete isolation. Similarly, Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) in Miami Vice is disallowed any development in the context of the motion picture, save for a duplicitous sexual and emotional relationship with Isabella (Gong Li), a criminal just as duplicitous as he is. Dreaming of the ocean and a haven of peace, he is pulled back into the flux of action, of his work, of socially-imposed fabricated identity, into the hyperreal world where personal history populated with photographs and ornaments of history are non-existent.

[...]

...it is the Movies, after all, that generate our own personal myths and validate our preconceived identities, making sense out of human experience - our relationships, our loves, our deaths – much as Mann's Dillinger experiences cinema (Manhattan Melodrama) moments before his last stand. Indeed, the cinematic construction of the Self for Dillinger is circularly reinforced, being that his image of identification (Clark Gable) is in part a film studio's construction based on the man Dillinger himself has created with the assistance of the media. The "Real Self" is possibly non-existent, ghostly, and perhaps the only place John Dillinger can be captured and killed is under the blinking lights of a movie theatre, the Biograph (a name suggesting a "Life"), because he's more Real there than in his corporeal body. Public Enemies is focused on the Real Self within History and how that Self dissipates within that History's systematic unveiling. The State becomes realized as an Idea of absolute Control and Reason, and people within that Right Hegelian System personified by J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup), such as the tragically alienated Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), are doomed to become nothing but despair-ridden suits, dying slowly and then forgotten.

[...]

Dillinger the Myth bespeaks a strange kind of heroic Freedom Fighter with no political or ideological goal, but simply his own freedom to do what he will with endless stretches of frontier space. This land is our land, and no body should own it, and a phenomenological experience of it brings one back to an incendiary "Ground Concept" of this Land that is more powerful than the rational "Hegelian" systems developing with the unveiling of History that aims to control that space. To some, John Dillinger was the Great Depression's Jesus Christ (he had more charisma as a leading man than the similarly "martyred" Floyd), and even at his trial in 1934 his lawyer, Louis Piquett, invoked this idea by stating that "Christ had a fairer trial!" Representing a "Spirit" that is so different and at odds with the cold "Machine" emerging in a country becoming increasingly industrial with political leaders being inextricably tied to Big Business and capital interests (which came to complete unfortunate bloom with Warren G. Harding's involvement with oil companies during the Dome Teapot Scandal of the early 1920s), Dillinger was this beautiful force that could not be contained by the system, performing escapes that could be interpreted as miracles. Imprisoned, he would free himself like a wild element in Nature that could not be tamed by the world of civilized men, by the System that guaranteed Service and Protection, but really only served and protected the interests of the System - not the Individual.

Off the Map: Freedom vs. Control in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 03:51:14 PM by wilderesque »

Mr. Merrill Lehrl

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #187 on: June 15, 2011, 08:31:40 PM »
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The third paragraph especially both seems related to what you were saying and is impressively well-written.  I didn't realize how big of a Mann fan you are when you brought him up in the Refn thread, which is funny because I posted in this thread and you'll all over it.

So now I'm pumped on Mann and want to revisit some of his films.  Right now I can't decide between Collateral and Miami Vice.
“If I had to hold up the most heavily fortified bank in America,” Bolaño says, “I’d take a gang of poets. The attempt would probably end in disaster, but it would be beautiful.”

wilder

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #188 on: August 24, 2011, 05:10:44 PM »
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"Robbery Homicide Division" (2002)



I've been wanting to see this short-lived series forever, and just came upon a link with all of the episodes for download. The series is shot with hd cameras and reminds me a bit of the style of the Miami Vice movie, maybe works better here because it's doing its own thing instead of following in the footsteps of a well-established brand.

Download - http://tinyurl.com/3oe6bx9
IMDB - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0315686
Real dated TV promo - http://youtu.be/lhNvRWFo-HI

whatevs

polkablues

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #189 on: August 24, 2011, 07:42:08 PM »
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It was an okay show.  Not great, just all right.

I'll be around if you need any more of my awesome opinions on things.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

john

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #190 on: August 25, 2011, 01:30:44 PM »
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It was an okay show.  Not great, just all right.

That's a pretty succinct evaluation of Mann's entire filmography. A lot of it is pretty to look at, some of it is commendably restrained.... most of it is fucking boooorrrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnngggggg.
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Pubrick

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #191 on: August 25, 2011, 08:49:17 PM »
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^ Haha, yes!

Finally someone said it perfectly.

I would've attempted myself, but his films don't inspire me to write even two sentences.
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wilder

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #192 on: September 26, 2011, 01:43:03 PM »
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wilder

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #193 on: November 02, 2011, 01:19:04 AM »
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The first episode of "Luck" will air on December 11, 2011 at 10pm ET/PT, over a month ahead of the subsequent episodes:

Quote from: HBO via Twitter
Note that #LUCK makes its official series debut Sunday, Jan 29 with the remainder of the 9-episode season debuting on subsequent Sundays.

wilder

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Re: Michael Mann
« Reply #194 on: November 17, 2011, 10:50:39 AM »
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