Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Street of No Return |
Actors: Joe Abdo, Jeremy Boultbee, Keith Carradine, Bill Duke, Filipe Ferrer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
From master filmmaker Samuel Fuller (The Naked Kiss) comes this twisted tale of revenge and redemption! Keith Carradine (Nashville) stars as a former pop star who had it all until he fell in love with the wrong gangster's ... more »
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 11/08/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is Samuel Fuller's last film, 1989, starring Keith Carradine as a former pop star (wearing overly glam clothes and singing schmaltzy guitar and orchestra 80s pop songs to an adoring audience in flashback) who loses the girl of his dreams and wanders into the life of a drunken bum after getting his vocal cords cut for his dallying with the girl, a mobster's babe. No cords, no singing. No singing, no money. Et cetera.Based on a strong hard boiled novel by David Goodis, ca. 1950s, the film is, unfortunately, a travesty of the novel. While the book does a great job of linking Eugene's (Michael in the movie) descent into the lower depths with the corruption of the world around him--cop and criminal both--the movie short changes the viewer on everything: the plot, the characters, emotional resonance. The movie was made in Portugal with Portuguese and French actors in most roles, along with Americans Keith Carradine and Bill Duke. In fact, the film feels way too much like it's a B minus movie made exclusively for the European market, with its truncated, cliched dialogue. You've seen these movies before, in which just about all the characters spout dialogue that's tailor made for actors who struggle with English, since it's not their native language. Because of that, the script is made up of short lines, easy to memorize and pronounce for non-English speaking folks. This, of course, tends to substantially limit the depth of emotion at any given point in any of these films. And that is, unfortunately, the case with Street of No Return.Carradine is fine, but he doesn't have much to do. The book portrays Eugene's emotions far more deeply than does the film, so that the reader understands--FEELS--how it is that this man could sink so low after the loss of a love. The movie moves through this plot point(s) so abruptly that it's basically impossible to sympathize with Michael/Eugene; we merely watch him go through the motions of drinking and reacting to stuff as it happens. But even the stuff that happens is cursorily or tritely portrayed. A race riot in the beginning of the film is much too stagey to look credible, for example.The three stars are for the concept of the film which is great, and also for the extras, principally the terrific 32-minute featurette on the Making of Street of No Return, in which Fuller is interviewed on the set. He's quite a character and evokes great sympathy, with his strong views on society, violence, and hypocrisy. Moving around the set with an 11-inch cigar in his mouth, he looks like--and was--the last of the legendary maverick directors. The featurette gets five stars; the film gets about 2 and a half. Hence the three stars for the DVD."
A must-own for Fuller fans
Timothy Hulsey | Charlottesville, VA United States | 02/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jean-Luc Godard described Samuel Fuller's films as "cinema fist," and that's certainly true of Fuller's last film, the underrated _Street of No Return_. A bizarre, fast-moving noirish cocktail of love and death (with an unexpected ending that feels more like fantasy than fact), _Street_ bears the director's indelible stamp on every frame. The use of Lisbon locations to stand in for an unnamed American city creates a perverse visual poetry out of the production's budgetary constraints.Keith Carradine acquits himself well as the film's male lead, but it's Bill Duke as a Black police chief who explodes all over the screen. The DVD from Fantoma features a very good video transfer and remixed audio; special features include an atrocious audio commentary from Carradine (couldn't they have roped a few film scholars into doing this instead?), a text interview with Fuller, and a marvelous new featurette with plenty of screen time devoted to Fuller's outsized personality.Fuller's autobiography _A Third Face_ mentions that, as was often the case with his projects in the '70s and '80s, this film was taken out of his hands at the last minute and re-edited. The version of _Street of No Return_ that he intended us to see is probably lost by now. But even in this shortened version, it's a ripping good swan song. No one before or since has made films like Fuller, and it's our loss."