Kamis, 01 November 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: Gangster

Hello readers! It's been a long time since I'm working on TMP. I've been busy and just not in the mood for writing but I know you do not come here to listen to my life story. Thursday Movie Picks is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves. For further details you can check here.

Without further a do, here are the movies I picked for this week's theme, Gangster.

Bonnie and Clyde (dir. Arthur Penn, 1967)

Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) caught Clyde Barrow (Warren Beaty) trying to steal his mother's car. But charmed by him, she followed Clyde's world of robbing from small shops to bank. 

This is actually a romantic film that masqueraded itself as a gangster film. The focus of this story is how Bonnie and Clyde handled being chased by the police and the turbulence in their relationship. Bonnie and Clyde is a lovely film that is elevated by its two leads and their chemistry.

A Brighter Summer Day (dir. Edward Yang, 1991)

Xiao Si'r (Chang Chen) was forced to go to a school full of delinquents as his grades weren't enough to go to a better school. Later, he was caught between the feud of two gangs, Little Park Boys, children of civil servants, and 217s, children of military officers. His life was more complicated when Ming (Lisa Yang), the girlfriend of one of the leaders, came to his life.

A Brighter Summer Day is an exquisite realist film. Edward Yang built his protagonist's world carefully to lead us into a tragic climax. 

A Bittersweet Life (dir. Kim Jee Woon, 2005)

Kim Sun-woo (Lee Byung-hun) was assigned to keep an eye for his boss' girlfriend, Hee-soo (Shin Min-ah). He developed feelings for her, and decided to disobey his boss by sparing Hee-soo's life and a man she secretly dated behind Sun-woo's boss. His choice triggered a series of violence events for him.

A bittersweet life is filled with bittersweet music and stunning cinematography. Lee Byung-hun also gave an emotional performance and captured his character perfectly. There is this fluidity I can't explain that didn't make this film rigid.  

Bonus: Sunny (dir. Kang Hyung Chul, 2011)

Nami accidentally met an old high school friend, Chunhwa, in a hospital. They re-connected quickly. As Chunhwa's days numbered, she asked Nami to gather their old gang, Sunny. As she reminisced her past, she was taken back to her high school days in the middle of a political era in South Korea.

I was initially going to pick this over Bonnie and Clyde, but I fear that it will not fit the Gangster genre, lol. Although technically, if the definition of gangster is a group of people who do illegal things, this is a gangster movie. Sunny is (mostly) a feel good film that can make you cry, laugh, and looking back at your own teenage years.

10 komentar:

  1. I've seen a couple of these. In fact, I own a copy of A Brighter Summer Day though I don't think of it as a gangster film.

    1. I can see it too, lol. I'm just trying to give a recommendation that is not too typical cause I haven't watched many gangster films.

  2. Welcome back it has been quite some time. The other three sound interesting but are new to me but Bonnie & Clyde is a fantastic film even if it's a highly mythologized account of the pair. I was around when it came out but far too young to see it but I do remember my parents's friends talking about it both positively (the look and performances) and negatively (the violence). When I watched it many years later I saw what they meant. The ending is shocking even today.

    I've seen many gangster films, I like the genre, so in order to make it easier to get down to three I chose to focus on one actor who did a huge amount of this type of film, James Cagney.

    The Public Enemy (1931)-Tom Powers (Cagney-in the role that made him a major star) is a small-time hood, vicious and consciousless who climbs to success on the back of Prohibition and his willingness to do whatever necessary-rob, maim, kill-to gain advantage. The film chronicles that rise, and fall, as well as his entanglement with two women Gwen (Jean Harlow, this was one of her earliest appearances, don’t judge her on it-she’s awful-look to her MGM comedies where she’s great) and Kitty (Mae Clarke) who famously receives a grapefruit in her kisser when she mouths off to Cagney. This William Wellman directed picture is one of the formative films in creating the gangster drama.

    The Roaring Twenties (1939)-Eddie Bartlett (Cagney), George Hally (Humphrey Bogart) and Lloyd Hart (Jeffrey Lynn) strike up a friendship in a foxhole during WWI. Once back in the States they go their separate ways but eventually circumstances bring them back together in the bootlegging business where they find enormous success until jealousies, rivalries and the stock market crash brings it all tumbling down. One of the last great gangster films of the 30’s with a fantastic cast including Priscilla Lane and a scene stealing Gladys George as the lovelorn songbird Panama Smith who delivers the film’s iconic last line.

    Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950)-Amoral gangster Ralph Cotter (Cagney) breaks out of prison along with fellow prisoner Carleton (Neville Brand). When Carlton is injured Cotter murders him to speed his escape and jumps right back into crime blackmailing Carleton’s sister Holiday (Barbara Payton) into a relationship to conceal her part in aiding their jailbreak. Discovering graft Cotter pressures a couple of crooked cops (Barton MacLane and Ward Bond) and an equally corrupt lawyer (Luther Adler) into a scheme to bilk heiress Margaret Dobson (Helena Carter) out of a fortune. Things do not go as planned. This was the highpoint of leading lady Barbara Payton’s career. A beautiful if somewhat hard looking blonde at this time she was considered a rising star but after a scandal plagued and notorious career she fell as far as it’s possible to go ending up a drug addicted skid row hooker (once being mistaken for a pile of garbage after being left next to a dumpster following a beating) before her death from organ failure at 39.

  3. Only heard of your first pic, but i havent seen it despite it's populalrity and fame. A bittersweet life sounds good - Kim Sun-woo is in a very difficult position haha

  4. I've only seen Bonnie and Clyde, and I'm not sure if I've actually seen all of it. A Brighter Summer Day is intriguing me the most.

  5. I haven't seen any of these but Bonnie and Clyde is one I really want to see.

  6. I've only seen Bonnie and Clyde. What a fantastic film, that is.

  7. I have only seen Bonnie & Lyde which is excellent. Welcome back!

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