Bad Lieutenant (1992)
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Very difficult to enjoy. So dark (literally), so gritty, so grimey.
However, one of the bits I loved was the juxtaposition of the first scene, Harvey taking his sons to school, and one of the final scenes, Harvey driving off with the two arrested rapists. Abel Ferrara employs the same camera angles, has the boys and rapists sat in the exact same positions, Keitel’s relationship with the characters comes across exactly the same.
Whereby in the first scene Keitel scolds his sons for not sticking up to their aunt and exerting their masculinity (“are you men or mice?!”), in the latter he is irate at the two young men for their crime, for raping a nun, and moreover their utter lack of respect for her femininity.
And the seemingly peculiar conclusion to the film — whereby Keitel lets the two rapists walk free and gives them $30,000 to boot — makes a ton more sense with this juxtaposition in mind. In this moment Keitel’s character realises his hypocrisy, and realises that the two rapists are the men he is raising his sons to be.
Full review: https://medium.com/@davidchauvin/spike-lee-s-essential-films-slef-episode-7-bad-lieutenant-1992-56f962d781d3#.b7z821kkf
This film is so full of blasphemy, in a great way...
Oddly, one of the most effective movies about Catholic redemption ever made. Skip the "R" rated version. It's attempt to remove some of the more controversial parts makes it hard to get the message that the main character hates the things that he does, but feels compelled to do them anyway because of his weakness (concupiscence).
This movie is less about blasphemy than an expression of hope and salvation for even the worst among us through acts of faith and penitence.
Or, for a more crude analysis, it's like Tarkovsky's Nostalghia (literally) on crack.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #1 in Spike Lee's Essential Film List
This movie ranks #3 in 100 American Independent Films (BFI Screen Guide)
This movie ranks #68 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #263 in Cahiers du cinéma - Yearly top 10s
This movie ranks #684 in TSPDT 1000 Noir Films