Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sharp Old Camera Eye


Sidney Lumet's Before The Devil Knows You're Dead seems destined not to be seen by many. The resolution of its story is too bleak, the tensions within the viewer too unrelenting. The performances are strong, and you continue to admire the actors who took on this project (P.S. Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Albert Finney).

Lumet, when I looked him up on imdb had -- and I didn't remember all of it -- a great many 'New York bleak' films to his credit, many of which I've watched again and again: the Fonda ones, 12 Angry Men and Fail Safe; the Pacino ones, Dog Day Afternoon and Serpico, not to mention Rod Steiger's classic The Pawnbroker.

Either black-and-white grit. Or liquidly-colored but glitzless NYC boroughed Americana.

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