47 FILMS: 34. ANGEL HEART

In our continuing series of ’47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams’, we look at Alan Parker’s Voodoo Noir Angel Heart.

The Eighties were fascinated by the Fifties. There were chart-topping reissues of Wonderful World, there were Levi adverts and in movies Stand By Me, Diner and Back to the Future played on an ever hungry nostalgia for the period. Even Billy Joel revived his career with doo-wop ditty Uptown Girl. But for me the best take on the era came from one time British commercials director Alan Parker. His dark noirish fantasy begins in a wonderfully realized 1955 New York, with Mickey Rourke as Harry Angel, a gum shoe with a sleazy commitment to his job, permanent stubble and a thing about chickens. Hired by Louis Cyphre (Robert de Niro) to find dance band crooner Johnny Favorite, Harry finds himself roughed up and bounced from Harlem to the bayous of Louisiana as his quest takes in fortune tellers, evangelicals, good old boys, corrupt cops and practitioners in the dark arts. Haunted by fearsome dreams of an elevator, the Private Eye only just manages to keep on top of things, but when he also falls for Evangeline Proudfoot (Lisa Bonet) you know things are going to get bloody.

Parker consistently made beautiful grim looking films. No one does grit quite as well in commercial cinema. Far less fond of the sheen than compatriot Ridley Scott, Parker also made consistently downbeat films, from the nightmarish view of a Turkish prison in Midnight Express, to the dirty end of fame in … well Fame, even when he made a kids movie, it was a weirdly filthy gangster pic – Bugsy Malone was a musical to boot.

Angel Heart is possibly his best film. The performances are terrific, with great cameos from Charlotte Rampling, Brownie McGhee and Robert de Niro himself, and a towering Mickey Rourke in his disheveled gone to seed perfection. Alongside Rumblefish, the best performance of his tragically curtailed career. With a haunting theme by Trevor Jones, those saxophones played by Courtney Pine, Angel Heart is the cool noir to set aside Blade Runner as the most inventive reinventions of the genre.

For more of our ’47 Films to see Before you are Murdered in your Dreams’ Click Here.

BACK TO THE FUTURE DAY IS A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX

HOLLYWOOD –  Scientists have revealed that Back to the Future Day represent a serious glitch in the Matrix and might bring the virtual reality universe in which we unwittingly live crashing down around our ears.

Speaking EXCLUSIVELY with the Studio Exec, Neil deGrasse Tyson has warned that October 21st 2015 in matching the date to which Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel at the end of Back to the Future – the so called Back to the Future Day – represents a major paradox in the space time film reality continuum.

‘It’s like Inception, but times like a squillion,’ said the noted astrophysicist.

The only solution that I can think of is to hand over all our most essential computing tasks to SkyNet, a system of coordinated AI servers that I invented with the help of the HAL 2000. Aside from his amazing computing skills and innovative imagination, Hal also has a screen writing credit on Terminator Genisys and plays a great game of squash.

But why does Back to the Future Day represent such a threat?

The thing is when the fictive universe created in film coincides with our own universe, which we like to call ‘real’ but which is in fact only another fiction, then this creates a paradox. Imagine we crossed the beams in Ghostbusters, or like in 12 Monkeys, Madeline Stowe was actually here right now doing things and Bruce Willis was a moderately good actor! Hard to handle, right? Once such a paradox occurs who knows what will happen. My personal guess is that it’ll be like watching Looper on a loop, or dreaming about Inception. People begin designing hover boards and professing a love of Huey Lewis and the News. Once that happens, I’m afraid it is game over.

But won’t SkyNet seek to take over the world and destroy all human resistance?

Well, yes, but you have to ask yourself: is that such a bad thing?

Happy Back to the Future Day from the Studio Exec.

MY FAVORITE FILM: HILLARY CLINTON

WASHINGTON – Hello, my name is Hillary Clinton and the Studio Exec, a very close friend of my husband, has asked my if I will choose my favorite film and write about.

I suppose the first thing I have to say is that it is not Black Hawk Down; and it isn’t You’ve Got Mail. So let’s nip that rumor in the bud right away. No, my favorite film has to be Back to the Future. I just think the film is charming. Marty McFly, played by the wonderful Michael J. Fox, is just an average school kid who loves skateboarding, playing his guitar and listening to top youth music band Huey Lewis and the News. However, when he is sent back in time by Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd who I already loved from Taxi, he inadvertently prevents his mother and father from meeting. Somehow he must arrange their first kiss otherwise he will cease to exist.

Back to the Future is undoubtedly the finest time travel movie ever made. I think what I love about it is that it shows that you can escape the past and you don’t have to be beholden to mistakes you might have made a long time ago. There is something exhilarating in seeing George McFly, Marty’s father, becoming a different person under his son’s tutelage. What if the fifties could learn from the eighties? the film seems to ask. In my own situation, sure there are mistakes I wish I could rectify that would change who I am today, but at the same time I am who I am because of the road that brought me here.

It’s also interesting to see how prescient the film is. Middle Eastern terrorists are a risk, but so is the local bully Biff. Technology is amazing with flying cars predicted as well and here we are and we almost have them. So the lesson seems to be you can go back in time, tinker a little bit and in that way fix the present. And I am the candidate who best represents that idea.

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BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY WILL FEATURE NO NEW FOOTAGE

HOLLYWOOD – The re-release of the Back to the Future trilogy will feature no new footage, sources revealed today.

Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future trilogy, which comprises Back to the Future, Back to the Future 2 and Back to the Future 3, will feature no new footage, despite the fact it is being released in cinemas and people who go and see it already of the blu-rays of the exact same films at home. Still starring Michael J. Fox in the iconic role of Marty McFly, the films will also retain the services of Christopher Lloyd who plays Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown. Initially release thirty years ago, they will be re-released on October  21, 2015, the date which was punched into the time machine/Delorean and sent McFly into the future for the second film.

Zemeckis wheeled into the Studio Exec bungalow at precisely 8.45 pm:

It’s going to be great to see it on the big screen again. The quality is if anything better than the original release and we’re all very excited.

But are we going to have some new footage?

No, we didn’t want to go that route. Look George is a great pal of mine but I just think Back to the Future is a different creature and it’s like clockwork the way it all works. I just wouldn’t want to ruin that.

Yeah but just one scene with Jabba. At least that.

No, absolutely not. It wouldn’t make sense.

What about some sort of extra CGI stuff in the background?

I think the charm of these films is the fact they’re so much of their time. I mean, even our predictions are great. Some of them actually worked out. But we still don’t have flying cars.

So it’s basically the same three films with no additions or scenes. Gredo shoots first in this one?

No, there’s no Gredo. No guns become flashlights. No extra scenes, no added CGI.

But you must have changed Huey Lewis and the News.

No.

But I HATE Huey Lewis and the News. 

Back to the Future will be released in October, 2015.

SIR EDWIN FLUFFER REMEMBERS ROBERT ZEMECKIS

HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer recalls his encounter with Robert Zemeckis and the birth of an American masterpiece.

Being an old hand at all this Hollywood lark I feel almost duty bound to lend the benefit of my experience to the younger generations as they make way their way up through the ranks. Some are kind enough to listen, others just look at me the way Lassie used to look at Jayne Russell, before slowly shaking their heads and turning away. But without my help, and passion for gardening, one of the most successful franchises in this business we still lovingly call show may have never come to pass.

A few years ago I suddenly got a call from a talented young director called Robert Zemeckis. He’d just had a hit with a picture called Romancing The Stone starring Kirk Douglas’s little boy, Michael. Bobby, as I instantly came to know and love him, wanted to talk to me about his next project. It was to be a comedy about time travel. I invited him over for a chat and one of my ex-wives served us drinks in the garden while the smoke from Paul Newman’s barbecue wafted over the fence. The smell was truly awful so we went for a wander ‘round the grounds and I showed Bobby some of my favourite plants, including a fuchsia that Claude Rains left me in his will. We spent an absolute age walking up and down the long borders trying to think of a suitable name for this film of his. Eventually I looked up and noticed we’d returned to the exact same spot we left all those hours earlier, but we were still no nearer a title.
‘Well,’ I said ‘here we are. Back to the fuchsia.’
And the rest as we so often say in Hollywood, is history…
Bobby was kind enough to show his gratitude by offering me the role of Dr Emmett Brown, but an in-growing toenail and some tax problems that forced me to leave for Switzerland under an assumed name meant I had to politely say no. I could tell he was disappointed and I promised to make it up to him by telling him about the time Marlene Dietrich asked me to put up some shelves in her new bungalow. 
But that’s another story…

MICHAEL J. FOX: “I AM JAMIE FOXX’S FATHER.”

HOLLYWOOD – The world of show business was stunned this morning after Michael J. Fox gave a sensational press conference claiming he is the biological father of Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx.

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