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Homicide (1991)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
What an intriguing movie this is.

In David Mamet's third film, Joe Mantegna plays Bobby Gold, a cop who's Jewish but cares not to identify with that part of himself. He's just a cop, happy working the big cases. So when he backs himself into the investigation of a murder of an old Jewish shopkeeper, small potatoes that it is, he's pissed when the woman's son, a prominent Jewish doctor, pulls strings to keep him on the case because of his last name. Over the course of the investigation he begins to feel something about being Jewish.

But in a way that's not really what the film is about either, because the story shares a trait common in much of Mamet's work, which is to say that what you're shown is only a curtain hiding what you're not. To say too much would be to give too much away, but suffice to say there seems to be a lot of Edmond in the character of Bobby Gold (and, incidentally, Macy co-stars as Mantegna's partner), and I think the story is less about a Jew realizing he's Jewish than a self-hater realizing how much he hates himself.
post #2 of 8
Haven't seen this in years but I remember being so impressed with Mantegna here. He's always good working with Mamet but this took it up a notch or two.

And Macy was kinda badass as Mantegna's partner. When some jerk asks him if he wants to step outside, Macy comes back with "Outside? I'll kill your fuckin' ass right here!" Awesome.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy five-tone View Post
Haven't seen this in years but I remember being so impressed with Mantegna here. He's always good working with Mamet but this took it up a notch or two.
Mantegna also has a particular way of delivering Mamet's dialogue that's unique to him, in a way that seems to at one time address its singular hyperreality while remaining a convincing performance. Then you have an actor like Macy, who looks a certain way but is just electric with lines like "I'm gonna tell you what the old whore said, and this is the truest thing I know: Once you start coming with the customers, it's time to quit."

I just think it's an interesting illustration on how great actors vary even the most specific text.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Banks is my hero View Post
I think the story is less about a Jew realizing he's Jewish than a self-hater realizing how much he hates himself.
I think the self-loathing is very much tied into the Judaism. Glenn Kenny seems to agree: http://somecamerunning.typepad.com/s...cide-1991.html

House of Games is still the most fun I've had with Mamet but this is probably the best film I've seen of his so far. I'm unsure on one point though: what exactly is the newspaper clipping at the end advertising?
post #5 of 8
Why the hell isn't this on DVD?

I haven't seen this in years, I remember being impressed with it.
post #6 of 8
The Criterion DVD came out less than a month ago.
post #7 of 8
Really? I had no Idea. I really should keep up on these things.
post #8 of 8
Similar to all the Mamet films I've seen, once a character steps out of their designated place, and starts to want more, that's their downfall. It's a theme that's very similar to a central theme in the Wire: the way institutions fail the individual. In fact the tag line of this film could have been "There you go giving a fuck, when it's not your turn to give a fuck". I completely agree with Banks about Mantegna; he makes Mamet's dialog pointed and strange, but not fake, in a way most can't. I especially like the end, when Ving Rhames and Joe Mantegna lie there, shot, realizing that they're both in the same boat.

Really interesting movie, highly recommend it.
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