USA Up All Night (also known as Up All Night and Up All Night with Rhonda Shear) is an American…
Julian makes a lucrative living as an escort to older women in the Los Angeles area. He begins a relationship with Michelle, a local politician's wife, without expecting any pay. One of his clients is murdered and Detective Sunday begins pumping him for details on his different clients, something he is reluctant to do considering the nature of his work. Julian begins to suspect he's being framed. Meanwhile Michelle begins to fall in love with him.
There is quite a bit I do not know about "American Gigolo." For one thing, I can't tell if the film is misogynistic and homophobic, or just so melodramatic that all of its characters seem a bit like caricatures. I also can't quite tell if the film is legitimately well made, or just so strange that I can't help but become absorbed by it. But one thing is for sure: I was never bored by this movie.
Fueled with a synth score that may feel awfully out of place but is pretty damn good, "American Gigolo" is a moody piece of melodrama fueled by surprisingly decent lead performances. Many of the supporting players do a bad job here, but Richard…
Almost a forgotten masterpiece.
Until the final 15 minutes of this movie I was thinking that I rediscovered a 1980’s film that was under-appreciated and possibly lost in the drudgery that was 80’s cinema. Then the ending derailed the movie enough that I am tempted to give it a negative review.
Written and directed by Paul Schrader, who also wrote classics like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The Last Temptation of Christ as well as directing Auto Focus and Affliction, this movie depicts the life of a high class male escort living in L.A. in the early 80’s. The movie’s plot focuses on a murder that the protagonist, Julien as played perfectly by a young and sexy Richard Gere, is…
Richard Gere > Rob Schneider
Julian Kaye is an allegory for Joseph/Josef K. in this neon-tinged and lightly adapted version of Kafka's THE TRIAL set in 1980s Los Angeles. More broad strokes than an actual adaptation, AMERICAN GIGOLO plays more like a series of Kafka's aphorisms, evokes passages of THE TRIAL rather than the entire text, or at the very least riffs on a character who finds himself variously above, between, below, and/or in conflict with the law, whatever that means.
Having lived in Westwood for two years, 2010 - 2012, this movie feels like a kind of indescribable time travel to a time that I never knew but to places that I have known intimately from personal experiences. The power of narrative cinema is…
It's amazing that a movie released in 1980 was so able to encapsulate the entire decade that would follow. Or perhaps this film gave the decade something to aspire to: the veneration of image and surface over substance. The film is so flat that it lulls you into a trance. Richard Gere is the perfect actor to portray an impenetrable blank slate. Only in the end do we start to see cracks and see what is underneath. No matter how hard you try to look a part, the real you is still in there somewhere. Could have stood to be much shorter though.
Is there anyone out there who can explain the plot of this movie, specifically what really happened with the central murder? I feel pretty dumb. Either I did figure it out and it's so simple I can't believe I really get it, or I missed the inherent reveals that were not explicitly spelled out.
Even if I didn't get it, I really loved the atmosphere that Paul Schrader, his production designers and cinematographer created in American Gigolo. It reminded me of the kind of stuff Michael Mann was doing at the time (the following year's "Thief", for example). I'm not a big fan of Richard Gere, but he fit the role here. I've never seen Bill Duke looking that young…
First of all, excellent cinematography and cool music (it was all based on Blondie's song call me). What I didn't like was the cast, they weren't that great, especially Gere. The best part was the end. Overall, it's a pretty good drama, but it really could have been better.
There is a winsome naiveté in Richard Gere's eyes countered by a tragic over-confidence that slowly emerges through Schrader's targeted juxtaposition and subtle character detail. That little line of cocaine enjoyed offscreen (in private) before dancing around to Smoky Robinson while picking out the suit for the night. On the surface, Julian is a man of refinement and cool calculation, but in reality he is merely a man who knows how to match tie/jacket combos and is extremely lucky to be where he is in life. As a gigolo, he is top of the line, more through his training and handling than his character. So it goes.
Schrader is happy to allow the audience to distrust Julian. Despite the facts…
Fantastic movie. One current is an electric crime drama (and the challenge of justice for outsider groups). Another is the steady melancholy, loneliness, and emptiness of the protagonist’s life. Awesome clothes. And OMG Lauren Hutton. Another good movie that explores the tensions between a criminal profession and desire for a normal life: Thief, of course.
I was so awestruck by the opening sequence that I watched the film's first 20 minutes again after finishing the film: the music, fetishistic closeups of a Mercedes Benz's body parts, the road rushing by, the bleached out California streets, and finally a smirking Julian (Gere). As Julian walks confidently (the way he walks in perfectly tailored clothes should have been enough to garner him an oscar nod, it's an incredibly physical lead performance by Gere and he is the only truly erotic element in a movie heavily-drenched in sexuality), the camera excitedly circles him, making it immediately clear that the camera is obsessed and Julian will be it's object of obsession.
Rather than disrupting the way society functions, Julian's…
Pretty rad 'May December' love story with a kickin' synthy score riffing on Blondie's 'Call Me'.
Necessary viewing in order to fully appreciate Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
Dazzling screenplay and intelligent direction by Paul Schrader raise this predictable film to a level of near breathtaking artistic achievement.
Plenty of stolen shot techniques from Robert Bresson and Jean-Luc Godard add exquisite flavor to this unusually strong(if not more than a bit melodramatic) film.
Richard Gere gives one of the defining performances of his career as a sex craved not so likable sleaze ball who, as the title tells you, earns his living by sleeping with older women.
Things start to crash down when one of these women turns up dead in a murder and the police are quickly on his trail.
Great cinematic technique: photography, cast, script, and especially the lighting pretty much make this a must see from the 80's-even if it's a little dirtier than your usual cup of tea.
Recommended viewing from "The Story of Film An Odyssey" was well worth it and felt much more entertaining than I would have anticipated.
I'm giving this a generous four as despite its many flaws there's a certain charm, style and honesty about this Paul Schrader written and directed film that most films lack.
Gere's character is a vision of '80s perfection, trim, tanned, manicured, and well dressed, he is the ne-plus-ultra of superficial success with little else to show for it. The film suggests that the morally bankrupt culture which valued such superficial success beyond all else reduces human beings to simple commodities, Gere's character molds himself to the whims of his clients to fulfill the desires of others, effectively erasing his own personality. Gere's character remains almost purely self-interested even as Hutton's character begins to fall in love with him, rather than a facade, continuing a pattern of exploiting all of his relationships to his personal benefit. The film's thriller structure further underscores this as Gere's character is solely interested in clearing…
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A list of all of the films featured in Mark Cousins' television series, The Story of Film: An Odyssey, in…