This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Sometimes, I’m on a film, either by the reputation of filmmaker or cast, or just the buzz, as it arrives in theaters. Then, there are those other times. Credit here goes to my film blogging colleague J.D. as he reminded his Facebook friends a couple of weeks back that this particular work landed 16 years ago on December 15, 1995. His excellent review of this seminal Michael Mann film, and the one done by writer Joseph Maddrey, help to explain why it continues to affect each of them, and me, to this day.
“He knew the risks, he didn’t have to be there. It rains… you get wet.” ~ Neil McCauly’s response to Eady after she finds out about the bank shoot-out.
January 3, 1996: When Michael Mann’s exemplary Los Angeles crime saga, Heat, debuted back in December of ’95, just about everyone I knew who went to movies saw and recommended it. Being that this filmmaker made an impression on me in previous decades, I should have been right there upon release. I wasn’t…even after the film made several end of the year “Best of” lists. Maybe it was the movie’s almost three-hour length that held me off, or my tendency of late arrival to some things.
Of course, being a relatively new father to a son barely two months old at the time may have had something to do with it, too.
The mother of our first child sent me off to the movies on this date right after the new year splashed on to our shores. Marshalling in the most significant demarcation of our lives. Children. We, in no uncertain terms, parents. Nothing ever was as stark, or as beautiful, than that.And since this film was still playing in nearby Marina Del Rey, I headed over the Cineplex Marina Marketplace 6 once again. As I had so many other times.
I guess since it was a mid-week screening, and in the evening, with the film already out for a couple of weeks, it shouldn’t have been a surprise the movie hall I found myself in was at a fraction of capacity. That said, it didn’t stop the few of us there from applauding when the film’s final scene on the outskirts of LAX appeared. Using Moby’s God Moving Over the Face of the Waters track to a great and poignant end as it marshalled in Heat‘s closing credits.
It remains the lasting image and melody from a film I carry with me to this day.