157 Great Directors: Michael Mann

“Could I have worked under a system where there were Draconian controls on my creativity, meaning budget, time, script choices, etc.? Definitely not. I would have fared poorly under the old studio system that guys like Howard Hawks did so well in. I cannot just make a film and walk away from it. I need that creative intimacy and, quite frankly, the control to execute my visions, on all my projects.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Heat, mostly.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Only saw Last of the Mohicans, which is okay.

What Did I Watch: Thief.

Where Does He Fit: Thief is a case of how if your score’s good enough, everything is forgiven, and Tangerine Dream is providing one hell of a good score to this. Hard to define exactly what genre this fits into, but boy is it satisfying to watch, with James Caan living through the American Dream and delusions and coming out through to the other side somehow, Tuesday Weld getting just as much to work with in her own way. Chicago is rendered Impressionistic via nothing more than colorful interiors and windows, and the slow motion of the action (we will ignore that one bad bit with the sped-up fight) renders it all into a moodpiece.


Most Valuable Asset: Workmanlike edits.
Most Excited For: Heat.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: I’ll say yes.

Coming Up Next: Robert Aldrich, currently running a Feud for Ryan Murphy (ugh).


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