Thompson was best-known for more than thirty novels, the majority of which were original paperback publications of pulp fiction houses printed between the late 1940s and mid 1950s. Despite some positive notice (writer and critic Anthony Boucher, for example, gave many of Thompson’s novels positive reviews in the New York Times), Thompson was little recognized during his lifetime. His stature grew only after his death, when, in the late 1980s several of his novels were republished in the Black Lizard series of rediscovered crime fiction.
Peckinpah’s approach to violence is often misinterpreted. Many critics see his worldview as a misanthropic, Hobbesian view of nature as essentially evil and savage. In fact, Peckinpah himself stated the opposite. He saw violence as the product of human society, and not of nature. It is the result of men’s competition with each other over power and domination, and their inability to negotiate this competition without resorting to brutality. Peckinpah also used violence as a means to achieve catharsis, believing his audience would be purged of violence by witnessing it explicitly on screen. However, Peckinpah later admitted that this was mistaken, and that audiences had come to enjoy the violence in his films rather than be horrified by it, something that troubled him deeply later in his career.
Ya know, if I’s you kids what I’d do? I’d quit this runnin’ around the country. Ya know, git a little bit a money together ‘n, hell, buy a place ‘n settle down ‘n raise a family. I’ve been married for 35 years, same old gal; man she’s a tough ol’ hide. God dang, everything I am, I owe ta her.
I’m trying to evoke an atmosphere with few characters and some graphical elements of settings and a grunch background, like the Release scene in The Getaway. The visual aspect of my characters comes from the 60’s and 70’s “hard boiled” (like Le Samourai, Taxi Driver and Scorpio) and the work of Michael Mann.
Mann returned to the crime genre with the masterful and mesmeric Heat. This is a moody, sonorous and elegiac saga, famous for the first screen pairing of Robert De Niro, as master thief Neil McCauley, and Al Pacino, as LA cop Vincent Hanna. It is a film laden with death and a sense of sad inevitability as the characters wander around as phantasmal presences, finding each other only to lose each other again. As a remake of his TV pilot L.A. Takedown, Heat is a mercurial exercise in cinematic form, shifting between the poles of elaborately choreographed action set-pieces to the long-lensed, tightly focused, intimate exchanges between couples. Personal dramas are played out in glass-walled houses, overlooking the sea or against the abstracted backdrops of flickering lights in cityscapes. Three action sequences structure the film – an ambush, a street battle and a spectacular fight-to-the-death in the film’s climactic moments on an airplane runway. These experiments with the formal possibilities of the crime genre make Heat a high point in the cinema of Michael Mann.
Taxi Driver captured the angst felt throughout America in the post-Vietnam era.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, Taxi Driver (1976) is a psychological drama and a tale of alienation, displaced sexuality, and life in the big city. The film stars Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Sheperd, Jodie Foster, Peter Boyle, and Albert Brooks. Scorsese’s male protagonists tend to be energetic, violent, and driven toward public recognition; Travis Bickle, played by De Niro, is no exception. Travis is a Vietnam-era vet who yearns to “be somebody” but only succeeds in becoming increasingly deranged and lonely as the film progresses. Scorsese’s cinematography and the cast’s skillful acting made Taxi Driver an enduring portrait of one of America’s most disconcerting periods.