Competitive New York mergers and acquisitions king Thomas Crown steals a Monet for the challenge only to be fingered as the thief within two days by insurance investigator Catherine Banning who’s smart, driven, and alone. Ostensibly she works with the police but in truth she runs her own show playing cat and mouse with Crown. Soon it’s a romance: a black and white ball, a glider flight, two days in Martinique. Back in Manhattan, she thinks she has reason to be jealous, so when he suggests they go off together, she hesitates. He may have more tricks up his sleeve and, as his psychiatrist has asked him, what would it take for him to trust a woman and, in turn, be trusted? –IMDb
A master craftsman notable for his almost Hitchcockian ability to create suspense and keep action moving at an exhilarating pace, director John McTiernan began his involved with theatrical arts early in life. His father was an opera singer, and McTiernan made his theatrical debut at age seven playing bit roles in his father’s shows. After high school he became involved with summer stock, where he directed, acted, and designed until attended Julliard and New York University, where he studied film. He then became designer and technical director at the Manhattan School of Music.
McTiernan went on to make over 200 television commercials before making his feature film debut by directing the fantasy horror movie Nomads (1985). He followed that up with Predator (1987), a sci-fi action film featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger that spawned a franchise.
In 1988, McTiernan helmed his best-known film, the blockbuster Die Hard. Starring Bruce Willis, the film was a hit with both audiences… read more
If it ultimately comes down to a battle of free will vs. determination, then Crown is McT's utopian protagonist, a man who defines his own fate and completely structures the film around him. The final sequence ("Let's play ball!") revels in the control of Crown, finally a protagonist taking the "controller" role, instead of being dominated by it. "Sinnerman" soars, and McT's editing tracks the steps of freedom.
This week: striking reality & cinema-blending images, Rosenbaum on TIFF, and some naturally occurring companion pieces to Leviathan.