The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Seminal Image #120

(Michael Mann; 1995)


Rob said...

The freaky thing was, the street shootout was horrifingly realistic in many ways, foreshadowing a number of actual events that occured soon after. Pacino was ferocious, and this was one of DeNiro's signature films. I love the little get-together they have discussing their respective futures. Awesome ending, as well.


swac said...

To be honest, I never really warmed to this film (pun not intended, but I'm leaving it in), I felt it was two hours of movie stretched out to three, and the DeNiro/Pacino pairing was a bit of an anticlimax (I have to watch it again just to see if they're actually in the same shot or not, as opposed to over-the-shoulder shots.)

But I agree that the street battle is one of the most riveting pieces of filmmaking I'd seen in quite some time, and I should probably get the new DVD of this for that, if nothing else. Plus Mann still manages to create exciting, innovative stuff, and I'm all for giving a film a second chance.

Tom Sutpen said...

It took more than one viewing for me see what was going on in this film. Mann's always been fascinated by the minutiae of criminal endeavour, and he clearly has this ideal, if we can call it that, of a Master Criminal (usually a professional thief of some kind). "Heat" to me is sort of the ultimate projection of this.

And yes, DeNiro and Pacino appear in a two-shot near the end of that scene, if I remember correctly. I recall looking out for that when I saw the film back in '95 (I know, why would I be focusing on that stuff. Honestly couldn't tell ya)

Kerri Rachelle said...

Isn't this the scene where 600 cops show up and shoot 5 billion bullets into a crowded LA street and only a couple of the bad guys get shot? Too bad Ron White's "POOT" wasn't around to handle the situation.

Tom Sutpen said...

Kerri asked:

Isn't this the scene where 600 cops show up and shoot 5 billion bullets into a crowded LA street and only a couple of the bad guys get shot?

Well, it's more than that, but I see your point.

I've long said that Mann's "Heat" may be the first Crime Drama with its own battle sequence.