1981-1990DramaKathryn BigelowMonty MontgomeryThe Female GazeUSA

Kathryn Bigelow & Monty Montgomery – The Loveless (1981)

Willem Dafoe’s first credited screen role.
A group of leather-clad bikers en route to some blistering racing action in Daytona, Fla., makes a pit stop in a backwater Georgia town. While waiting for one of their hogs to get fixed, the gang decides to raise hell. But they get more than they bargained for when the townsfolk battle back in this moody homage to “The Wild One.”

Bigelow’s big-screen debut is intelligent, provocative, camp, indulgent, erotic, occasionally frustrating, and often brilliant. Dafoe is pretty cool in his first film, the leader of a bitching gang of bikers who ride into a small Southern town on their way to the Daytona races. Their presence disturbs the locals, and leads to tragedy when a local girl hooks up with them.

There are blatant nods to the nouvelle vague, not least in its nihilistic outlook, as well as the obvious references to The Wild Ones and Kenneth Anger. This homage element gives the film an in-vogue 80s post-modern (ugh!) edge that dates it, but it is wonderfully realized.

Bigelow’s eye is terrific, fetishizing the bikers’ leather, their greasy hair, their sunglasses and their powerful machines with a fascinated glee that is utterly compelling. Uncomfortable themes of incest and child abuse are perhaps thrown in a little flippantly, but never gratuitously.

2.64GB | 1 h 22 min | 1024×552 | mkv



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