Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#126 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:53 pm

There's a podcast out now called "One Heat Minute" that basically breaks down each minute of the film with fans, critics, actors, comedians, etc. etc. There's even one episode with the now-departed Pasquale Buba and one just came out with Dante Spinotti, so it's pedigree in it's guests already have me intrigued.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#127 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:25 pm

Mann himself will be the guest on the next "One Heat Minute", coming this Saturday, discussing the final minute.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#128 Post by black&huge » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:27 pm

Wait.... did a physical UHD release ever come out? I know Mann supervised the 4k resto in the past few years or so

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#129 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:33 pm

No, just a Blu-ray featuring a new transfer taken from the restoration and some new extras.


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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#131 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue May 04, 2021 2:44 pm

On Twitter and Letterboxd I opined that the only things that could have made this movie better were if Kris Kristofferson were in the Jon Voight role, which was originally envisioned or so told on the IMDB trivia page, and that James Spader played the Roger Van Zant role. It's not a knock on William Fichtner at all, but some of the things he does in the part I can see Spader either improving or taking it further.

I wasn't ever going to bring it up here because I get the feeling that dream casting and such discourse is kind of frowned upon here (and probably rightly so), but I recently discovered that Spader actually played a character named Nick Vanzant in Supernova, which was directed by Walter Hill who once upon a time Mann gave him the script with the idea of him directing it, in the mid-80's.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#132 Post by Fandango » Tue May 04, 2021 10:14 pm

Listening to Michael Mann discuss Heat on One Heat Minute puts Neil's final decision into perspective. While it can be argued that it is completely out of character for someone who is shown throughout the film as meticulous and cerebral to make such an emotional and rash decision, Michael Mann actually confirms exactly that.

I believe the secondary role that the women take in the film suggests rather that the men were uninhibited by sudden temperament. Although Michael and Chris were professionals, Neil was a class above them, and this was emphasized in his demeanor throughout the film. He was truly committed to his profession. What was missing in his life that was abundant in everyone else's was the feminine influence.

Michael Mann said himself that in the moment under the bridge, Neil is no longer thinking logically—he is emotionalized because of Eady. It is in this moment that the allure of killing Waingro becomes a serious consideration. The audience, as well as Neil in the first half of the movie, are acutely aware of this poor decision. In this moment, Neil defaults to his base instincts (emotion) instead of his cultivated response (walk away if there's heat).

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#133 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue May 04, 2021 10:38 pm

The decision also humanizes him since we're primarily emotional beings hiding under resiliently logical exteriors, regardless of where you rank on those personality tests. It's tragic in a sense but Eady's ability to unlock Neil's emotion side is very moving, and although I don't think we get enough of their relationship's development, we get all we need to when Neil and Eady are on his roof that first night; specifically when his face casts off as he frowns and begins to process the loss of a purely logical self in the artificial simplicity he's carved out to hide in, and he simultaneously experiences the confusion of finding his emotional side, for either the first time or the first time since he started this 'new life' under said ethos. I just rewatched the film the other night and had to rewind that scene to watch De Niro's face-acting again, which is some of his best work (and, although I like this movie, I find the Pacino/De Niro restaurant scene to be egregiously irritating in how they deliver their dialogue). So while tragic, Eady woke him up from an isolated one-note zombie state to experience a full life for a little while. Not sure it was worth it, but if it wasn't we'd never get that final showdown and one of the best ever music-ending shots to Moby's God Moving Over the Face of the Waters.

It's worth noting that while Pacino and De Niro are both alienating workhorses who subscribe to oversimplified lifestyles as a defense, Pacino's life course is fueled by emotion, just an emotion that he can't share with another's emotion in a partner, and must instead project onto a cold world that cannot answer back or force his emotion to compromise. It's somewhat ironic that he needs to be in total control here, facing a massive context that could not be less controllable- but at least it can't talk back with unwritten rules of relational aggression, and can be depended upon to remain statically in the language of literal aggression. He turns his valve from logic to emotion when necessary, and after using that shadow detection superpower to end the film, his last gesture is to emotionally take the man's hand who's offering it. It's a sign of professional respect, but also emotional personal appreciation as both men shed their fronts of masculine defenses, De Niro asking for connection in the last moments of life to another man who 'gets' him, and Pacino accepting the only hand that's offered to him under the terms of the world he can bring himself to engage with emotionally.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#134 Post by Fandango » Tue May 04, 2021 11:26 pm

Thank you for the excellent insight.

Neil, while representing the villain, is always shown wearing a white shirt. This is symbolic of his attempt to blend in with the everyday world; Vincent the good cop, by contrast, is always wearing a black shirt, illustrating how often he interacts with criminals in the underworld.

Both characters in the film are shown during formal dinner scenes alongside their respective team. Just as Neil and his crew attend a dinner at a restaurant, so too does Vincent and his crew. In both scenes we see that Neil and Vincent, despite subjective shifts of focus, are lonely. As Neil glances around the room to see everyone with their wives or girlfriends, he is ultimately all by himself; By contrast, as Vincent is alone with Justine, despite being together, he is just as isolated and unable to share his emotion, as you so aptly stated. While the dinner scene with Vincent is shown in a high-rise, Neil's is on street level, highlighting the oft used motif of evil lurking down in the streets.

Although Neil's home (minimalist) is demonstrative of a certain postmodernist critique by Mann, we can also view this design choice as a symbolic mirroring of Neil's inner state—empty, "suggesting the emotional bankruptcy of bourgeois life in the post-industrial moment" (Christopher Sharrett, 2007). Similarly, Vincent's home has nothing that attaches him, save for a portable television, with his police office more reminiscent of a prison, with its "concrete and grey slabs," than any conventional work station.

The scene with Neil looking out of the window with the blue color filter is gorgeous, and one of my favorite moments in film. What is interesting to observe in this scene is how his back faces the audience. This is an explicit visual illustration of Neil's professionalism and "turning his back," if need be. There is a later scene, which sets up an interesting juxtaposition, when Neil is with Eady as he plans his escape. In this scene, we see Neil and Eady look outside, only this time we see Neil's profile, suggesting now that he is "attached" to Eady, and that his professionalism is attenuated.

The set-up to the ending is exceptional. The airplanes serve as dramatic intensifiers, as the audience views each one as Neil's hope for escape, and yet the longer Neil lingers, the more intense this feeling becomes. We see that just as Neil's hope for escape becomes bleak, so too does the audience's hope for a balanced resolution. In the final scene before the shoot-out, Neil's end comes set against the backdrop of white lights, mirroring the scene in the tunnel where his decision lead him to the film's close.

It is certainly true that there is a mutual understanding between the two men as they hold hands, but what is also interesting is how in the final moments, as they hunt one another, they are, once again, alone. This, I believe, brings the film's theme of loneliness full circle, and is a testimonial to both characters remaining true to themselves (Vincent telling his wife he doesn't believe it can work; Neil choosing principle and what he likely subconsciously understands is certain death by going after Waingro).
Last edited by Fandango on Tue May 04, 2021 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#135 Post by feihong » Tue May 04, 2021 11:27 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:44 pm
On Twitter and Letterboxd I opined that the only things that could have made this movie better were if Kris Kristofferson were in the Jon Voight role, which was originally envisioned or so told on the IMDB trivia page, and that James Spader played the Roger Van Zant role. It's not a knock on William Fichtner at all, but some of the things he does in the part I can see Spader either improving or taking it further.

I wasn't ever going to bring it up here because I get the feeling that dream casting and such discourse is kind of frowned upon here (and probably rightly so), but I recently discovered that Spader actually played a character named Nick Vanzant in Supernova, which was directed by Walter Hill who once upon a time Mann gave him the script with the idea of him directing it, in the mid-80's.
Interesting. I like the idea of Kristofferson in the Jon Voight role, and I think Spader would have given Van Zandt a Spader-ey kind of masculinity that would have been interesting. Part of what bugs me about the Van Zandt character is how he comes on so macho––"I'm gonna kill these guys"––and then he seems to get emasculated by how threatening McCauley and his crew grow to seem to him. Spader might have kept more of a sense of personal agency––Fichtner makes the character just sort of shrink in front of the macho swagger of McCauley and his crew.

It's funny you mention this, because for years now I've played this game, recasting Heat in all these different ways. The woulda-coulda-shoulda-been casting I always heard for heat was that Gong Li was up for the role that went to Amy Brenneman, and that Maggie Cheung read for the role that went to Ashley Judd (and that Michael Mann threw a fit when she told him she couldn't read the lines in the script 6 different ways in the audition). It always had me thinking of other casting, because for me the weakest element of the movie is Amy Brenneman, because Eady just doesn't really seem to plausibly turn McCauley's head or hold his attention. Partly I think the character is underwritten, but also Brenneman just does not challenge De Niro, or get him out of his shell. And I always thought that Diane Venora, who plays Justine Hanna, would have made something really substantial out of the Eady role, where Brenneman just doesn't. Venora could have seemed more intelligent, more alert to McCauley's dissembling, and she could have revealed more need for the relationship she has with McCauley. She could have challenged some of his preconceptions, made him reconsider his priorities. For a Diane Venora Eady to trust McCauley and be betrayed by him, De Niro would have had to work harder to get under the skin of the McCauley character; we would have to see how McCauley's ties to Chris Shiherlis and to Eady get in the way of him being the slick operator he had been up until that point. As it is, I think that part of the film runs a tad too smoothly. I was excited as a teen when I saw McCauley bail on Eady at the hotel––it seemed like a big tragedy, which is definitely how Eliot Goldenthal and, presumably, Mann himself wants you to think of that moment––but as an adult I am less sold on the depth of that emotion. If we felt that McCauley was beginning to recognize feelings he had always denied himself in the past, I think the betrayal would have worked better––and an actress who didn't look like a deer in the headlights would have gone a long way towards selling that betrayal.

Anyway, this led me to my Kevin-Bacon-style game of how I might recast Heat. I tried recasting it in different eras, and trying to imagine how those different casts might create different relationships between the characters. Of course, with Heat we also have a road-test for this idea, in Mann's previous try at the script, L.A. Takedown. It's fascinating to see a whole lot of the same lines and the same scenes play out with a sort of TV-movie approach, with actors that aren't generally world-class––definitely De Niro brings a lot of subtlety to the role which was not there in the original, but I was most impressed with how much Pacino transformed his role into one of substantial interest and much more range. Even though this is firmly within the post-Scent-of-a-Woman period for Pacino, running on full "Hoo-hah!" energy, it's really surprising to see all the deft changes he makes to line readings, to pauses. He makes Hanna observe things before reacting to them––something the actor in L.A. Takedown doesn't really do. It was fascinating to me also how macho L.A. Takedown is, compared to Heat––and Heat is already pretty macho. But L.A. Takedown just steams with cock-of-the-walk energy. Everybody is shouting at one another in their huskiest voices and losing it over the slightest challenge to their machismo. The only actor I can see who was in L.A. Takedown AND Heat was Xander Berkeley; He is the psychopath, Waingro, in L.A. Takedown. In Heat he is the middle-aged dude, Ralph, who Justine picks up on a night on the town. Pacino smashes the TV Ralph is watching. Berkeley makes this a funny role.

Anyway, I just go down the cast list and recast everybody when I play this game. I try and jump around to different decades, and sometimes to different countries. I aim to cast people who are of similar "stature" to the actors they ended up with in the various roles, thinking about these actors historically. But I'm sure I made some bonehead choices. I'll put down just one of these lists here. I have six I made, but this one is kind of fun.



This would be Heat made in the 80s: say, 1986. I call this one "the 'Heat' of desire, because the leads in this one could credibly be fantastic romantic foils for one another as well as for the love interests the script required of them.
  • Neil McCauley––––––––Rutger Hauer
  • Vincent Hanna––––––––Ed Harris
I can picture a fuming young Ed Harris, trying to catch up to a very suave and bemused Rutger Hauer. Imagine them doing the coffee-shop scene together, with Harris slamming his hand on the table and Hauer grinning like a very continental wolf. If it were me directing, I would want to find some way of communicating how much they want each other, even if we couldn't get a scene where their desire lets loose. These two in the mid-80s? Who is hotter?
  • Eady Finneran––––––––Michelle Pfeiffer
Eady really has to captivate McCauley, and be a pull for him, dragging him away from his life of cool crime. The Michelle Pfeiffer of Scarface is perhaps the lady to do it. And maybe I want to redeem Pfeiffer and Hauer as a romantic couple from the not-too hot-and-heavy Ladyhawke.
  • Justine Hanna––––––––Karen Allen
The trouble with putting Diane Venora in the Eady role is that Justine also needs a really captivating actress. I don't think Karen Allen got enough high-profile roles after The Wanderers and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and I think playing next to Ed Harris as his pressured, frustrated wife might have been a really cool role for her. One of the things that makes her special to me is the way in Raiders she is so fiery attractive when she's criticizing Indy, or telling Belloq to go to hell. Here she could do that in a realistic role, as in The Wanderers.
  • Lauren Gustavson––––––––Pheobe Cates
Lauren is Justine Hanna's daughter from a previous marriage. Natalie Portman played Lauren in the real film. Looking for a teen ingenue of the mid-80s, my personal fave would be Phoebe Cates. Lauren is not a challenging role––you just have to feel sympathetic for the character and her brittle insecurity in the face of her parents divorce. I could see Cates doing that.
  • Chris Shiherlis––––––––Kevin Bacon
In the real film this was maybe the perfect role for Val Kilmer––Chris is a sort of golden-boy made of pyrite; talented, full of promise, but a big letdown once you're hooked on him––as both Neil and his wife might admit. On-screen, Shiherlis has to have a magnetism that makes people want to care about him, but also that slipperiness of the chronic gambler. The Kevin Bacon of Footloose is, I think potentially that guy. And he is so 'Merican, it would, I think provide an interesting contrast to Rutger Hauer. He could seem in a way exotic to Hauer, younger, full of a kind of energy Hauer can feel slipping away in himself. But Bacon I think could really portray the fecklessness of Shiherlis, in the face of the law––the antisocial contempt that drives him to be a bracingly interesting presence.
  • Charlene Shiherlis––––––––Rosanna Arquette
Charlene is meant to be tough and serious––a woman who was raised in the foster-care system and who looks at life practically––but who also has a suppressed sense of desire that overwhelms her better life choices. Living with Chris has made her bitter and fed up. In the 80s Rosanna Arquette could play this to breathless perfection; in her best roles she is a woman tempted to ruin or transformation, and I think some of that here would be great. It's fun to imagine Chris and Charlene's harsh scene of recrimination delivered by Bacon and Arquette.

  • Mike Cheritto––––––––Gary Busey
It's hard to imagine anyone more perfect for the Mike Cheritto role than Tom Sizemore (though he is the 2nd actor to take on the role, and not the originator of the part), which I think is a testament to how perfectly Sizemore is able to convey this character. The key element of Cheritto is the contrast with Chris Chiherlis; Cheritto's wife has been able to influence him into making some good decisions––so he is in a better place financially than Shiherlis; but when left to his own devices, Cheritto can't help but make bad decisions. He joins the high-risk robbery because he can't bear to leave his buddies behind and cut out; he grabs a child hostage––this seems especially dumb from a movie-wise perspective; Cheritto ought to know this decision marks him for death. In the 80s, the gritty, career-criminal who can't keep his hand out of the cookie jar could have been beautifully assayed by Gary Busey. The thing about the role is, we're supposed to still feel sorry for Cheritto as he plunges into the abyss after his friends––and yet, we also have to look at him at his end with the dispassion of a cop doing "the right thing" and putting him down like mad dog. Busey is exactly the actor for both evoking that sympathy and then also mortgaging his cred with the audience by kidnapping a child for cover.
  • Waingro––––––––Brad Dourif
The Waingro part is pretty much fully-realized from L.A. Takedown on; he is a creep. Xander Berkeley does pretty good in that mode in L.A. Takedown, and Kevin Gage takes the role to the ultimate in Heat. Who is the creep du jour of 80s movies: no question it's Brad Dourif. Since Waingro is a sex-killer as well, the film would be nodding to Dourif's sexually-disturbed young man role from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which in the 80s was still in the public imagination when they saw Dourif at the movies. I think Dourif would deliver something a bit different from Gage or Berkeley, because Dourif's psychopaths have always had an edge of the pathetic to them. I could imagine Dourif looking at a stone-faced Rutger Hauer across a diner booth with wild eyes, telling him "I had to do it, man. He was makin' a move!" It would be wild.

  • Roger Van Zandt––––––––Bruce Willis
William Fichtner was an up-and-coming supporting actor in the time he was shooting Heat. I remember seeing him as one of the maverick cops in Strange Days the year before this. So I reached for an actor of that time that might be sort of up-and-coming, but also given to playing supporting parts. True, in a couple of years Bruce Willis would be box office gold, a huge solo star, but in 1986 he was still on TV in Moonlighting, and even as a big star, he continued to play supporting roles in films like Nobody's Fool, Pulp Fiction, Four Rooms, and Mortal Thoughts. Van Zandt in Heat is an officious bully who turns out to be a paper tiger, and that's the kind of supporting role Willis has sometimes played in the past. It's fun to picture Willis doing lines like "so word on the street is it's okay to steal my stuff; I'm gonna kill these bastards." And then to watch the blood drain from his face as Rutger Hauer busts through the window of his mansion pointing a gun at him.
  • Nate, McCauley's fence––––––––Dick Van Dyke
This piece of casting is when I knew this list was a winner. The casting of Jon Voight in the Nate role was surprising in its' day––critics at the time looked at this as audacious stunt-casting, and really, most of us hadn't seen Jon Voight looking like this, ever. Yet his interplay with De Niro was quite good, and he really came off as a career criminal. My stunt casting is based on seeing Dick Van Dyke playing a rather sinister villain in an episode of Columbo. He has this kind of sadism in that role that made me think, wouldn't it be fun to see Dick Van Dyke as a seedy, grizzled fence? And still to feel that Dick Van Dyke charm and assurance. Then I pictured the scenes of a young Rutger Hauer and this older, suave gent, relentlessly grinning at one another and sharing inside jokes. In my dreams those scenes are breathtaking.
  • Donald Breedan––––––––Keith David
In the real movie Breedan is the ex-con played adroitly by Dennis Haysbert, who joins McCauley's team last-minute as a getaway driver. In the 80s the actor to play this role I think would have to be Keith David. In my mind he'd be playing something like the slightly insane Vietnam vet he played in Platoon and Men At Work. David is an actor that frequently got written off as "angry," but one of the nice things about the Breedan role is how the character is struggling so hard not to rely on anger and force. This would have been a great opportunity to see David playing a character struggling with doubts and insecurity, trying to suppress his survival instincts in order to make it as an ex-con. Bud Cort plays Breedan's manager at the diner where he works, and I have opted to never recast him in any of these lists. The manager would still be played by Bud Cort in the 80s.
  • Lillian––––––––Angela Bassett
Lillian is Donald Breedan's parole officer and sort-of-maybe girlfriend? This is not a big role––though it looks like there are scenes with Lilian which are cut from the final edit of Heat. Kim Staunton, who plays the role in the movie, did not get any extra break from this picture, it seems, but it's fun for me to imagine Angela Bassett––who in 1986 was making appearances on The Cosby Show––matching Keith David's intensity in their scenes together.
  • Seargent Drucker––––––––M. Emmet Walsh
Drucker is the cop who leans on Charlene Shiherlis to give up her husband to the S.W.A.T. team. His big moment in the movie is his speech to Charlene, talking about her past in orphanages and juvenile detention centers, and how that's what will happen to her son Dominic if Charlene doesn't cooperate and give up her husband. The scene is interesting, because our sympathies at that point in the film are mostly with Charlene. Drucker is not portrayed as a bad guy, but he has a lousy job to do, squeezing this desperate woman into an even more desperate situation. When casting this role, I always think of that speech: "You can do it for your son...so you could raise him...?" And when I imagine M. Emmet Walsh growling it sotto voce at Rosanna Arquette, the scene just seems so sinister and gross. That's the M. Emmet Walsh effect in action!
  • Casals––––––––Jimmy Smits
Casals is played by Wes Studi in the actual film; the key elements I take away from this casting are the surprise of Studi in the role, and the sort of level-headedness he brings to Casals. Jimmy Smits was just starting his acting career around 1986 (his first film credit is Running Scared, from that year). I think it would be a very similar casting decision, but also Smits would bring a similar level-headedness to the role as what Wes Studi provided in the actual movie.
  • Alan Marciano––––––––Paul Rodriguez
Marciano is the guy Charlene Shiherlis is having an affair with––in the film he is played by Hank Azaria. Marciano is the stunned recipient of Pacino's "GREAT *SS!!!" speech. So I elected to get another comedian with experience in film, but one who would be more active in that era. Maybe I have seen the film Quicksilver too many times, but along with Kevin Bacon, Paul Rodriguez jumps right into my mind. I can imagine Rodriguez staring up at Ed Harris angrily screaming the "GREAT *SS!!!" speech at him, thinking: "this guy's gonna kill me!" What I'm saying is that I think Rodriguez has the comic chops to make this character bit quite funny––maybe funnier than in the genuine film.
  • Trejo––––––––Lou Diamond Phillips
Trejo is the driver who betrays the robbery crew under duress. Maybe Lou Diamond Phillips would be too big a name to cast in this role in this era? At the time Heat came out Danny Trejo was not famous. But whatever.

  • Ralph––––––––John Turturro
So this is the Xander Berkeley role in Heat. Ralph is some guy Justine meets at a nightclub and she hooks up with him. He's watching TV when Vincent comes home one day––a sure indication that Vincent's marriage is falling apart. I think this role was written specifically for Xander; it's like a short little walk-on, and as such, it could project any kind of tone into the finished movie. I thought Turturro could be rather funny and neurotic and put-upon when Ed Harris walks through the door, steaming.
  • Van Zandt's Bodyguard––––––––Lou Ferrigno
In Heat, this role is played by Henry Rollins. In the 80s, I think Lou Ferrigno would be ideal to feature here. Jesse Ventura would project a little too much personality, but Ferrigno has the clumsy charm to make the fight scene with Ed Harris fun.
  • Albert Torena––––––––Samuel Jackson
Albert Torena is sort of a street hustler in the movie. He is a snitch to Vincent Hanna. 1986 is about a year early for Jackson's longer run of film appearances, but I think it would be fun to stretch it, and see him in this role.

  • Richard Torena––––––––Paul Winfield
Richard is Albert's presumably older brother, played in the film by Tone Loc. He has a heavy quality to him, gruff and distempered, and his brother clearly looks up to him and is kind of in awe of him. I admit, this is just a personal choice; it reflects my deep desire to see the great Paul Winfield in more movies. I can dream of Winfield groaning "I'm telling you, man; this 'slick' is no joke!" and Ed Harris whirling around on him. Then Winfield would be all cool and wince like he thinks maybe he shouldn't have said anything. It would just be really cool.


My assumption would be that there would be different staff behind the camera as well, so I made some perhaps very personal choices of what I'd like to see there? So theses are they:
  • Director––––––––Susan Seidleman
The year prior to my imaginary 80s version of Heat, Susan Seidleman directed probably my favorite American film of the 80s, Desperately Seeking Susan. That movie was stylishly quirky and imaginative, and I admired how Seidleman was able to give the women in that movie the range of wit, drama, and intensity usually reserved for men in Hollywood films of the time. Because what I think Heat needs more than anything is a better sense of the women in the story and what they can contribute, I think Seidleman would be a cool choice for this. Plus, Desperately Seeking Susan is very stylish, and an 80s neon Heat would need to be that for sure––and not stylish in a stale, post-70s Friedkin kind of way, but in more of a new wave style, which I think Seidleman could reflect upon in an interesting way.
  • DP––––––––Jordan Cronenweth
This choice was mostly because Cronenweth shot Blade Runner, Cutter's Way, and Altered States just before he joined the crew of my fantasy premake of Heat. I want this movie to have been a brilliantly neon-soaked new wave neo-noir, and Cronenweth is the guy to do that, for sure.
  • Music––––––––Basil Pouledaris
I think the Goldenthal score, with the Kronos Quartet has a good deal to do with how Heat feels the way it does––the music in L.A. Takedown does not achieve a similar effect. The Heat score is unusual for the time, featuring the kind of music you didn't expect to hear in a Hollywood crime thriller. The pop numbers of course did that, like the Terje Rypdal guitar tracks, but the Goldenthal score really owns the tone of the movie, and tells you how to think about what's happening––even if Goldenthal makes a little more of certain moments that I actually feel those moments. At any rate, the challenging and cool composer of the 80s who would have matched Goldenthal's eccentricity and his unique feel for making the movie something special would, I think be Basil Pouledaris, whose scores to Robocop and The Hunt for Red October are still fun to listen to decades later. He was a more unique and winning composer than most of that era, I think. I can't imagine what this notional score would have sounded like; but Pouledaris has such range, and is willing to go for such unusual choices of instrumentation and genre, I'm sure it would have been quite memorable.


I don't know if anyone thinks this is fun, or would like to play the game as well? I really enjoy mythcasting this movie. I have several other lists to share, if anyone enjoys this as much as I obviously do.

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Re: Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)

#136 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed May 05, 2021 1:37 am

feihong wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 11:27 pm
Part of what bugs me about the Van Zandt character is how he comes on so macho––"I'm gonna kill these guys"––and then he seems to get emasculated by how threatening McCauley and his crew grow to seem to him. Spader might have kept more of a sense of personal agency––Fichtner makes the character just sort of shrink in front of the macho swagger of McCauley and his crew.
Sorry to make short work of the rest of your post, but this stuck out at me immediately as to what was wrong with the character, and you absolutely nailed it. I would have kept some of that emasculation in (very easy for me to imagine Spader selling the "empty telephone" line and the scene where he's introduced to Waingro), but make his death scene a bit more of a shootout. I don't necessarily buy that he just would have been hanging out at home (let alone watching a hockey game all lassiez-faire) after ratting the crew out to the police.

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