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Joe Moore has a job he loves. He's a thief. His job goes sour when he gets caught on security camera tape. His fence, Bergman reneges on the money he's owed, and his wife may be betraying him with the fence's young lieutenant. Moore and his partner, Bobby Blane and their utility man, Pinky Pincus find themselves broke, betrayed, and blackmailed. Moore is forced to commit his crew to do one last big job.
"Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money."
I do not think there is a line of dialogue that is more David Mamet, in cinema, than the one above. On the face of it, it essentially makes no sense, but when said aloud, in his cadence, you know exactly what is meant and everything it does not mean. It is perfect Mamet dialogue.
The surprise with Heist is that it is not delivered in that flat Mamet style. Rather, simply by the casting of the three leads: Gene Hackman, Delroy Lindo and Danny De Vito, he changes his style. Hackman, Lindo and De Vito are not classic Mamet actors. They act. They are not dialogue delivery devices. Compare their…
My motherfucker's so cool, when he goes to bed, sheep count him. Mamet's most quotable film this side of the "always be closing" scene.
This is Mamet unchained! There are a handful of writers working today that have such a distinct voice and style that you can tell who wrote the screenplay after only a couple of lines. Tarantino, Sorkin, and Mamet all come to mind. All also write mostly masculine, cut throat dialogue. Well I got news for you. Mamet script would make any of those other scripts its bitch. Mamet is as hardcore as it comes and he lets it all hang out in this film.
Heist is, believe it or not, a heist film. It is also, wait for it, a heist film that cons the viewer. Of course you know this going into a post modern heist film, so you…
Things I learned from Heist:
1. To commit a robbery, once must always employ an explosion as distraction.
2. I should shave my fucking moustache.
David Mamet's Heist falls in comparison to his directorial debut, House of Games. I liked how Mamet worked on a much smaller scale in House of Games. In Heist, Mamet branches out into caper territory. There is not much originality to it. Everything here has been done before, just much better and more exciting. Only a couple of the many twists and turns come by surprise. Mamet packs a relentless amount of plot twists in 109 minutes. The main heist is the only exciting part about this film. I was surprised by how poorly written some of it was considering it was written by David Mamet. Many lines are even unintentionally hilarious like "Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money." The back and forth conversation between characters is interesting, but that is because the actors in this film are giving it their all.
Recentemente, no comentário que fiz ao filme Wag the Dog do Barry Levinson, recebi uma resposta do amigo @Artorias, dizendo que o filme em questão tinha entre os argumentistas um sujeito chamado David Mamet, considerado por ele, um dos melhores escritores de diálogos. E sendo que, também aprecio visualizar falas de qualidade nos filmes que vejo, decide assistir a mais um trabalho de Mamet, tendo em conta (admito, sim) que nunca tinha ouvido falar do sujeito.
Porventura, tinha em mãos Heist, que não só tem a assinatura de Mamet no guião, assim como é ele que está sentado na cadeira de realizador. E tenho de reconhecer, que no final da sessão, senti uma certa decepção.
Longe disso, os diálogos não…
Around the time Heist was released I met someone who was just beginning a PhD on David Mamet’s films. He was very enthusiastic about the cons, the manipulations, the tricks found in Mamet’s work: by this response to Mamet, Heist must be a central work. Gene Hackman leads a crew specializing in heists: the film opens with them efficiently robbing a jewellers. Danny DeVito is the fence who has another job lined up, but also wants his nephew, Sam Rockwell, to be part of the crew. Hackman doesn’t like it, but he was seen by a security camera on the last job and he wants the money to get out. In many ways this is a smoother, more ‘cinematic’ film…
heist is: love of gold.
So THAT'S why they call it money. Thanks, Mr. DeVito!
glengarry is such A Big Deal for me that nothing else mamet has been involved in comes close
this is still very solid though!
2001. Directed by David Mamet
"You know why the chicken crossed the road? Cause the road crossed the chicken!"
David Mamet, know for his unrivaled dialogue and stripped down street level confidence stories delivers a bare bones lingual battle royale in Heist.
Gene Hackman is the leader of a crew of thieves who gets his face captured on camera during their latest job. His fence, played by an impish Danny DeVito blackmails him, forcing the master criminal into one last score before he can escape the country. What sounds like a cliche' for the genre is elevated to the heavens by Mamet's outstanding wordplay and the ensemble performance of a legendary cast.
"Your weight and your fate, right here."…
"Whatever, it's all of a piece."
Typical Mamet hyper-masculinity infused into a standard heist flick (I mean it's called simply "Heist" for god's sake), which under normal circumstances would be fine, but Mamet's strengths as a director are not on display and while I love Hackman, the physicality the part required seemed better suited to a younger man (you're asking me to believe he was able to overpower a much younger, fitter, security guard?), but that would provide it's own unrealistic narrative challenges. Just a little choppy.
Mamet's fussy dialogue feels much more natural in the realm of con-artists than in his 'State and Main' sitcom world. Like ‘House of Games’, the action appears to be set in the physical world, but it’s actually unfolding on a cerebral plane, high above anything we can see.
The more I think about it, the more ‘Heist’ boils down to the Waverly Films ‘Master Prankers’ sketch, so my patience for this silly bit of business comes down to the cast.
What do I like? Hackman grumbling and yelling. The titular heist on a runway, with genuinely electric tension built from low budget Michael Mann ingredients (and no music). Sam Rockwell with a Beastie Boys moustache. Ricky Jay intentionally getting hit by a car. “She could talk her way out of a sunburn.”
Counts against it: anything involving real action/stunts. Danny DeVito. Rebecca Pidgeon. Gene Hackman’s stupid boat.
Complete list. :-(
THE MOST COMPLETE LIST OF NEO NOIR FILMS ON LETTERBOXD.
The film noir genre generally refers to mystery and crime…