A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
Gambler. Thief. Junkie. Killer. Cop.
While investigating a young nun's rape, a corrupt New York City police detective, with a serious drug and gambling addiction, tries to change his ways and find forgiveness.
Mr. White as a cop living on the mother fucking edge. Blow. Bo fuckin' Dietl. A smart bet. Baseball. A street pharmacist. Crack is whack. Naked dancing. Flaccid Harvey. A convenience store shakedown. A despicable-horrific-sad-face act of violence. Darryl fuckin' Strawberry. Stealing from the dead. Chicks in penguin suits. A nude nun. Jersey bad girls. A serious question. Extreme-chicken-chokin'. Fuck you cassette player! Holy communion. Yummy wafers! Sad confessions. Not giving a flyin' fuck who you snort coke in front of. Nightclub action. Playing dumb. Uncontrolable laughter. An empty threat. China fuckin' White. Real fuckin' justice. Holy fuckin' hallucinations. Some real good shit. The way Harvey says cocksucker. The bus. Checking out for good. Harvey fuckin' Keitel blows it out…
Ferrara at his rudest and crudest best. It goes without saying that this isn't for everyone. Keitel's character has no redeeming virtues - he's everything you don't wanna cop to be - and he's only going downhill further. Yet you care about him and can't take your eyes away even if Ferrara takes him deeper and deeper into despair. This is certainly one of Keitel's best performances, brilliantly embodying all the physical and spiritual pain life has to offer.
Bad Lieutenant is a crime drama that follows the story of a cop who, while investigating a nun's rape, tries to straighten out his life. Ferrara builds an excellent character study on an unlikeable man who leads a life of corruption (by abusing his authority as a lieutenant) and who finds himself cornered with his addictions (drug and gambling) that threaten to destroy his life.
Instead of trying to establish a real 'story', director Abel Ferrara insvests in a controversial study on a man who tries to find redemption after a life of corruption and bad choices, in a detailied examination of a man's nihilist life, a cop who abuses of his social position to lead a semi anarchist life.…
For some reason I've always remembered Bad Lieutenant as a 70s film. There's something about its detachment and struggles with morality that harks back to early Scorsese, especially with Harvey Keitel in the lead role. It becomes more than a mere homage to Mean Streets as Abel Ferrara mirrors Scorsese by weighing down Keitel's boots with Catholic guilt and having him commit a series of unforgivable sins.
The Lieutenant in question is more than a corrupt cop, he's a pervert, a drunk, and a drug addict. He's the sort of guy John Doe and Jigsaw would have a field day with as sin oozes from every pore of his body like thick black tar. His actions are not mere indulgences,…
Less a narrative than an examination of the depths of redemption, Bad Lieutenant takes an unlikable asshole and asks us how much we can take before we want him dead. Harvey Keitel's Lieutenant is a complete monster, a walking pharmacy cabinet, and, besides a strikingly inane suburban side-life, has nothing redeeming about him. We're treated to increasingly detestable episodes that showcase his brutality, hubris, and utter nihilism until there's seemingly no deeper he can sink.
The showcasing of his banal domestic life seems to be director Abel Ferrara's indication that most, if not all, of LT's woes are of his own causing. He mistakes self-destruction for pride. He thinks himself untouchable, even as he becomes more and more erratic. It…
"Leave it to the Catholic Church, man. Girls get raped everyday, and now they're gonna pay 50 G just because these chicks wore penguin suits."
I fuckin' adore Werner Herzog's version of Bad Lieutenant, it's a hilarious dark comedy with an actual heart and message and Nicolas Cage at his best.
So obviously I was interested in watching Abel Ferrara's original controversial classic.
This film is in every way the antithesis of Herzog's companion piece.
Herzog's film suggests that there is hope, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that people at their core are decent.
Ferrara's film suggests that humanity is fucked, people are scum, and organized religion is awful.
There is no light, everything…
Harvey Keitel screaming and cursing at Jesus is everything I've ever wanted in life.
One of the best performances ever.
This movie is just so fucking RAW!
Keitel lays his soul, guts and shlong out in this performance and Ferrara's insanity comes together for good to create a truly timeless masterpiece.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
It's not as much of an insane, free-wheeling trip an outsider (or even a fan of early Ferrara, as Ms .45 lives up to said promise) might expect from the synopsis or the introductory freak-out scenes. It quickly trades the flashy spectacle of Keitel's insane performance in the early bits for a quieter contemplation on American mythology and physical structures that lend themselves to legend: of Inner City Catholicism, the corrupt law enforcement or it's consequent morally ambiguous justice, not to mention a few extemporaneous mentions of America's Pastime. The political philosophy of a late Bronson film or something like Harris's Cop is rendered as a playfully abstract fever dream of guns, coke, and a supposed downward spiral that feels more like a redemption. There's no vagrant-killing here that populates Cop or 10 to Midnight. Just a bus ride to nowhere.
I'm not entirely sure what I expected from Bad Lieutenant, but it wasn't this. This is a strange, middling film that features some truly insane moments — Harvey Keitel pulling over a car with a busted taillight and masturbating repulsively against the driver's door being a high/low light — and an unhinged, ridiculous lead performance. It's almost comically bleak and borders on being totally plotless. While it's kind of fascinating, Bad Lieutenant is mostly exhausting and dull. Its redemptive moments appear out of nowhere, much like Keitel's hysterical emotional outbursts. It doesn't surprise me to know Ferrara was drugged out of his mind while making this. A worthwhile experience in a way but not a film I think I'll ever return to.
The Lieutenant: Show me how you suck a guy's cock.
The Lieutenant: Leave it to the Catholic Church. Girls get raped every day, and now we're putting up 50 Gs just 'cause these girls wear fuckin' penguin suits.
The Lieutenant: I'm sorry, Lord. I've done so many bad things.
Io un film così malato e schifosomente marcio, intriso dal degrado umano che scava fino a raschiare il fondo, non lo avevo mai visto. Che pompa atomica, che meraviglia!
Ah...mi inchino a Harvey Keitel!
Going from dark humor to simply dark, "Bad Lieutenant" is a crude and often unerving study of character. Full of inconsequent violence, explicit heresy and an endless pain suffered by Harvey Keitel's protagonist, the film leaves us with a sense of resolution.
Some people can achieve this resolution through religion, some through drugs, and some only through death.
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…