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Non-Review Review: Heat

We’re currently blogging as part of the “For the Love of Film Noir” blogathon (hosted by Ferdy on Films and The Self-Styled Siren) to raise money to help restore the 1950’s film noir The Sound of Fury (aka Try and Get Me). It’s a good cause which’ll help preserve our rich cinematic heritage for the ages, and you can donate by clicking here. Over the course of the event, running from 14th through 21st February, I’m taking a look at the more modern films that have been inspired or shaped by noir. Today’s theme is “nineties noir” – I’ll be looking at two of the finest noir-inspired films of the nineties.

I do what I do best, I take scores. You do what you best, try to stop guys like me.

– Neil McCauley to Vincent Hanna

I’ll be honest and concede that, right off the bat, I have a lot more love for Heat than most. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t labour under the assumption that it’s a poorly-received film (it’s rare to find someone who will concede that they dislike it), but I still have a stronger affection for Heat than the vast majority of viewers. I was only ten years old when Heat was released, and I think that was a big a moment for me. My ten-year-old self was familiar with big, sprawling epic sagas, but I think I used to believe that these sorts of epics were reserved for stories set in times long past. I think, in my innocence (or foolishness, depending on how kind you wish to be to my younger self), I felt that epic stories didn’t really happen anymore.

And then I saw Heat, which somehow managed to take an epic, sprawling narrative style which – at the time – I could only remember from films like Dances With Wolves or Cleopatra or Gone With The Wind, and applied it to cops and robbers. If I were to construct a list of films which helped me fall in love with cinema, Heat would be on there. Pretty high, too.

It's a whole different ballgame...

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