John Huston’s Fat City may come as something of a surprise to those more familiar with the films he did with Humphrey Bogart in the 1940s and ‘50s. This lean, probing work concerned with the lives of two boxers - one in the twilight of his career (Stacy Keach) and the other just beginning (Jeff Bridges) - has none of the lumbering awkwardness that sometimes afflicts the '70s work of the great directors of classical Hollywood. The drab colour scheme…
"How fast does that go?"
"It goes very fast."
Mann's digital compression of space and time (those suits with those phones!) only lets up when they escape into the past - Havana is rendered here as a literal time warp.
This gets better and better with each viewing. (Theatrical cut obvs.)
"Time is luck."
Two lost people drawn together from the moment they meet on a runway. The touch of the arm. The look of hunger on Lei’s face after the restaurant brawl. Mutual looks of professional admiration. Hathaway’s glance at the back of her neck in the taxi (it’s all Mann, but that wouldn’t be out of place in a Claire Denis film.) I’ve seen complaints that the romance comes from nowhere. Yeah, sure it does. If you’re blind, maybe. Mann takes his…