Film: Streets of Fire (1984)

Streets of Fire @

If you wanted a definition of ‘cult movie’ Streets of Fire would do it.

Pitched as ‘a rock and roll fable’, it tells the simple story of a guy rescuing a girl from a biker gang.  Because it’s a Walter Hill movie it does it without irony, embarrassment or regret and, like it’s cousin The Warriors (1979), is pure comic book escapism.

From the opening shot of neon reflected on a wet street to the final showdown, the film is alive with a beat and energy that jumps off the screen.  It’s not just the fantastic soundtrack (Ry Cooder, The Blasters, and two brilliant tracks by Jim Steinman), it’s in the hard boiled dialogue, the editing, the unapologetically 2D characters and the blended 80’s and 50’s art direction that gives the whole thing a timeless sheen.

Strictly speaking not a great film, but nonetheless a wonderful must-see movie.

Highly Recommended.

Film: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

$R3Z52DM-polaFull disclosure; my son is called Dylan after Bob and I’m a big fan of the Coens.  Chances are I was going to like this film and I do.  A lot.  I think it’s a strangely funny and charming portrait of a character who is not very easy to like.

What I love most is that it gives musical performance the space it needs to really matter.  It’s what I love about Streets of Fire (1984) and The Blues Brothers (1980).  Crossroads (1986), another Walter Hill movie, does it and Lindsey Anderson’s O Lucky Man! (1973) goes as far as cutting back to the studio where Alan Price is recording the soundtrack.

To me, these are musicals and Inside Llewyn Davis is the best film I’ve seen in a long time.