After all, it's just a ride….

Heat (1995) Anniversary

heatI thought I might provide a little criminal refreshment from this frantic week of anticipation of what seems certain to be the biggest film in motion picture history. Released twenty years ago on this very day Heat is one of my favourite film of all time, a close winner with other Michael Mann urban perfectionist poetics, just one of those pictures I can easily revisit once a year like The Thing, Goodfellas and The Shining and never get remotely bored.  Sure enough its a product of its time, the whole cops and robbers, cat-and-mouse but a-ha aren’t they exactly like each other was about as original as moody urban serial killer pictures back in the late 20th century, but like Se7en someone had to do it first, and someone had to do it right. Here is editor William Goldenberg ACE talking about his sheer terror at suddently being involved with such a high-profile project;

I’m not quite sure how I managed this, but I appear to have three copies of the film, one on DVD (naturally) but then not one but two Blu-Ray releases, which I can’t even remember ordering let alone duplicating.The score was from the underrated Elliot Goldenthal, a fine composer whom is often overlooked in favour of your Elfmen, your Zimmer’s, your Burwell’s or your Howard Shore’s, his styling giving a sense of the epic urban space and character anthems from De Niro’s first visibility;

I almost went and saw it again at the cinema this year, at the beloved BFI of course, where I had originally caught a screening as part of a Mann season back in about 2005 or 2006 or so. This reminds me I should really finally pull a score on this. It was showing this year as part of the Pacino season but alas I didn’t get around to it, maybe some other time. I have to say that this sequence on the vast auditoria of NFT1 with the sound throbbing was quite electrifying;

I’m still not sure how he did but Mann manages to pack in so much material which you’d think would be extraneous to the central Vincent / Neil conflict – the former’s anxiety ridden stepdaughter (played by a young Natalie Portman), Val Kilmer’s spousal problems – and they don’t feel like padding or distractions. Instead they are just part of the tapestry of these LA lives, awarding the film with some dramatic vicissitude that amplifies the central cop / robber dichotomy. Here is some production context for you, Heck, I even managed to get through this without posting the infamous and allegedly inspirational shoot-out or the historic Diner scene – instead lets close with this montage of Mann which I’ve probably posted before, but withstands another scrutiny;

THE CINEMA OF MICHAEL MANN from Balistik on Vimeo.


One response

  1. Nicely done Minty. Thanks for allowing me to revisit Heat again.I happened to do a piece on Heat earlier this year – including the diner scene as well as other key moments that did not involve the discharging of bullets.

    Have a look –

    December 15, 2015 at 10:19 PM

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