THE ULTIMATE DEGENERATE (1969)

Making their black and white film cycle a full circle experience, 1969’s The Ultimate Degenerate opens on a scene that hints that the film might be a twist on 1966’s Take Me Naked, Michael and Roberta Findlay’s first collaborative feature that was stacked to the rafters with narration, peeping, and exhibitionism. But instead of a […]

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PUBLIC ENEMIES (2009)

When it comes to the discussion about style-over-substance, Michael Mann’s is not a name that should be spoken in the same breath as that phrase, which is apt for filmmakers who have a keen eye but a tin ear and an empty soul. For Mann is not only a dazzling stylist, but he began his […]

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A THOUSAND PLEASURES (1968)

Released the same year as The Curse of Her Flesh and The Kiss of Her Flesh, 1968’s A Thousand Pleasures opens on yet another scene of domestic tranquillity according to the Family Findlay which is to say that, before the opening credits even begin to roll, Michael Findlay becomes fed up with Roberta’s constant nagging […]

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MIAMI VICE (2006)

Upon the absolutely conventional fade-out of the Universal logo, desaturated to reflect the film’s overwhelming cool, blue and white color scheme, director Michael Mann has the audience in his grip by throwing them into the middle of a scrum of sound and color. A club scene that throbs with pulsating music makes almost all of […]

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THE FLESH TRILOGY (1967-1968)

In the annals of sexploitation, Michael and Roberta Findlay’s Flesh Trilogy (made up of 1967’s The Touch of Her Flesh and 1968’s The Curse of Her Flesh and The Kiss of Her Flesh) may very well be the pinnacle of gutter trash that floated its way into a polluted tributary and found itself drifting toward […]

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COLLATERAL (2004)

Eschewing the sprawling narratives of every film previously helmed by Michael Mann, 2004’s Collateral is a spartan thriller in which a shadowy and silver-fox contract killer named Vincent (Tom Cruise) pours into a random cab driven by Max (Jamie Foxx), a good-hearted man and erstwhile dreamer. Vincent then forces Max to chauffeur him to his […]

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A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON (1974)

“Even crippled hippies from Oklahoma have a right to sing a song.” – Leon Russell, Shootout on the Plantation (early demo version) After spending a good portion of his career as a sideman, producer, and as a piece of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, Leon Russell had emerged from Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen […]

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TAKE ME NAKED (1966)

Michael and Roberta Findlay’s Take Me Naked (1966) opens on the sight of a pair of bare breasts while some dialogue regarding the mysteries of sexual origin is spoken. The moment acts as if it’s going to attempt to solve the infinite mystery of physical pleasure but there is something rather acrid in this thought […]

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GIMME SHELTER (1970)

At the beginning of Gimme Shelter, the 1970 documentary by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin, Mick Jagger is ready to party. With the occasional blips and wipeouts in the guise of minor drug busts and the tragedy surrounding the death of ousted bandmate Brian Jones in July of 1969, Jagger and the rest […]

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