tisdag 19 april 2016

THIEF (1981)

Thief is a story about a man wanting to be his own. Not letting someone else tell him what to do. Frank is a professional thief, working completely solo, until one day he gets an offer of joining a bigger organization that can make his life much more comfortable and easier than his current living.

But it is a Faustian falseness. The devil comes with a seductive propostition. Lurng Frank into  a part of a large crime organization. A sort of mafia opertaion led by Leo ( Robert Prosky)

I can relate to Frank. For five years I worked on a small industrial laundromat, getting treated like dirt. I felt suffocated,trapped, my life belonged to that place. I realized too late after I signed the employment contracty that the place was wrong for me.

This is similar to what whappens to Frank ( James Caan). But Frank has been in jail and doesn´t give a fuck anymore. That is where we both seperate. I´ve never been in jail, I´ve been fined once, that is it. I am not a nihilist, like Frank is. And I don´t kill people


The visuals are breath taking.

Tangerine Dreams scores a real dreamy landscape of athmosphere. the whole thing just oozes mood and style because of it.

Here is a link to a soundtrack version:

Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn seem heavily influenced by the  mood of this piece in terms of visuals and sound. The neon drenched world is told through the same type of electronic beats.

They also kind of share  a similar  main protagonist. They both lead a normal day-to-day life but at night they become someone else,Like Batman, but instead a thief or a getaway driver.

The heist parts are real fucking good. Like Rififi, the french crime classic, it is reliant on visuals and sounds and has no dialogue in them. Very stylishly directed and to the point. We are dealing with professionals, knowing what to do., What the fuck would they talk about during a heist? They are one hundred percent focused on the task at hand whn they need to. I enoy watching  this kind of criminal professionals in films.

I can relate pretty heavily to a guy trapped in a way of life he realizes too late. But instead of leaving that shitty awful place that strangled the life out of me to go study like I did, Frank kills the people that put him in that situation. As I said, we kind of differ in cerrtain places in the way we deal with things. I think the comparison may be more metaphorical.

But that is what is great about Thief. Even if it is about a thief, the point is; it is about a character that stands outside of society, someone that is bound by no family, no greater moral standards, and most likely never will. he do what he wishes, have full control of his destiny. It is pure individualism. And for people who never felt truly to belong to society they are like Frank. And Leo is the type of corrupt society that wants to snare Frank, use his abilities but also trap him in conformity, hence kill his individual streak for his own society of which he is king over.

There is a great  piece of dialogue in which Frank calls Leo out on his corporate bullshit, that he is entitled to make money of his own sweat and  blood. Amidst all of this individualism, some Marxism arises.

This is truly a remarkable film. That there is so much in it, it is so rich but at the same time be the type of no nonsense tough guy cinema is a true testiment to Michale Manns skills as a filmmaker.

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