Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mikey and Nicky - 1976 - Dir. May

I really liked this movie! It's often spoken of in the same breath as Cassavetes films and May was notorious during this shoot for running cameras for hours while Cassavetes and Falk just probably dicked around (or weren't even on the set, apparently). The film is a little more plot oriented (a little more) following a single evening as two old friends walk the streets when Nicky (Cassavetes) fears retribution from the mob after stealing their money. It's kind of funny because from what I know about the two men, their characters are kind of reflective of them and since they'd work together many times before the movie feels completely natural. May's shooting technique definitely lends itself to this as well. I feel like Cassavetes is a master at being a likable jerk. It's an unsentimental portrait of two men who work for the mob. Past the violence and the paranoia, it's about how these two men exist and how they interact with the world. Perhaps my favorite aspect of it is the past, how their friendship with each other is the last connection they have to their childhood. The ending is TOTALLY satisying, which goes along way because the movie is so guarded with it's characters intentions. So the ending feels TERRIBLY cathartic. (SPOILER) And I particularly like that to some degree Nicky even keeps up the sense of a facade (TAKE ME TO A DOCTOR, YOU BASTARD!) as he begs to be let in. The whole movie is just so well-made and satisfying to watch.
Jeez, Cassavetes! Clean up your act! This is SHOW BUSINESS!