Tag Archives: Harvey Keitel

James Toback – Fingers (1978)

Quote:
Harvey Keitel is forced to work as a debt collector for his mobster father even though he dreams of becoming a concert pianist. When he is drawn to a prostitute, the tension between his two worlds becomes unbearable. A disturbing and memorable debut from director and screenwriter James Toback.
Remade in 2005 as the French film ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped.’ Read More »

István Szabó – Taking Sides (2001)

Plot
A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the controversial Nazi era. One of the most spectacular and renowned conductors of the 30s, Furtwangler’s reputation rivaled that of Toscanini’s. After the war, he was investigated as part of the Allies’ de-Nazification programme. In the bombed-out Berlin of the immediate post-war period, the Allies slowly bring law and order–and justice–to bear on an occupied Germany. An American major is given the Furtwangler file, and is told to find everything he can and to prosecute the man ruthlessly. Tough and hard-nosed, Major Steve Arnold sets out to investigate a world of which he knows nothing. Orchestra members vouch for Furtwangler’s morality–he did what he could to protect Jewish players from his orchestra. To the Germans, deeply respectful of their musical heritage, Furtwangler was a demigod; to Major Arnold, he is just a lying, weak-willed Nazi. Read More »

Roberto Faenza – Copkiller AKA Corrupt Lieutenant (1983)

This gritty and powerful police thriller is a classic stand-alone independent film. With good performances from Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs, Bad Lieutenant) and John Lydon (former Sex Pistols frontman), Corrupt really is a one-off. As the film progresses, Leo Smith (Lydon) and Lieutenant Fred O’Connor (Keitel) engage in a vicious and engrossing psychological battle of wills in a sadistic game where they are both dependent on each other. As for the Director, Faezna’s direction seems as good as any of the excellent Italian films of the day, effortlessly moving from smooth exterior compositions to the angular perfection of the prison-like apartment. BAFTA award winning Ennio Morricone reinforces this precision with an excellent score full of mechanical percussion mixed with a whispy guitar lead which underscores the foreign presence of Lydon. Music plays a very important role in Corrupt, especially the strange country music track “Tchaikovsky’s Destruction” which is played throughout the entire film to emphasise the changes occurring to the characters. Read More »

Paul Schrader – Blue Collar (1978)

Quote:
Paul Schrader’s directorial debut examines the trials of Detroit autoworkers living at the mercy of a heartless corporation and a corrupt union. Surviving from paycheck to paycheck, Checker Cab assembly linemen Zeke (Richard Pryor), Jerry (Harvey Keitel), and Smokey (Yaphet Kotto) scrape by and take pleasure in a few rounds of beer or bowling (and occasional illicit amusements). But when their money troubles pile up, Jerry and Smokey join Zeke in a desperate plan to steal cash from their local union office. Along with a piddling $600, they unexpectedly swipe evidence of union corruption. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – Bad Lieutenant [+Commentary] (1992)


29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Description: This provocative film has an almost documentary-like feel in its depiction of New York lowlife, and another credible performance by Harvey Keitel, but at times it’s as stagnant as the “hero’s” life – Ferrara holds the shots too long, as if we’re supposed to look for something more into them than what is actually there. Still, the film is certainly not the exploitive trash that some have labeled it as, and deserves a solid “7”. Read More »

Ari Folman – The Congress AKA Kenes Ha-Atidanim (2013)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Robin Wright plays an aging actress with a reputation for being fickle and unreliable, so much so that nobody is willing to offer her any roles anymore. She agrees to sell the movie rights to her digital image to Miramount Studios in exchange for a hefty sum and the promise to never act again. After her body is digitally scanned, the studio will be able to make movies starring her using only computer-generated characters.

20 years later, her character attends the Futurological Congress, which showcases Miramount’s new technology that allows people to transform themselves into animated avatars. In this mutable illusory state, they can become anything they want to be, be it a perfectly seductive goddess or their favorite action hero. Miramount wants to sell her image to punters, allowing them to transform themselves into her. Read More »