Brooklyn, 1988. Crime is rife, especially drugs and drug violence. A Russian thug is building his heroin trade, while everyone laughs at the cops. Brothers have chosen different paths: Joe has followed his father Bert into New York’s Finest; he’s a rising star. Bobby, who uses his mother’s maiden name, manages a club. Bobby too is on the rise: he has a new girlfriend and a green-light to develop a Manhattan club. Joe and Bert ask him to help with intelligence gathering; he declines. Then, Joe raids Bobby’s club to arrest the Russian. From there, things spiral out of control: the Russian puts out a hit on Joe, personal losses mount, and Bobby’s loyalties face the test. —IMDb
Bio: Writer/director James Gray made his first film Little Odessa (1994) at the age of twenty-four. The film, which starred Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Vanessa Redgrave and ‘Maximillian Schell’, received critical acclaim and was the winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Silver Lion Award in 1994.
Miramax Films released James Gray’s second feature, The Yards (2000) starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Faye Dunaway, Ellen Burstyn, Charlize Theron and James Caan in fall of 2000. The film was selected for official competition at the 2000 Cannes International Film Festival. Prior to ‘The Yards’ and ‘Little Odessa’, Gray attended film school at the University of Southern California. It was there that his student film Cowboys and Angels was first seen by producer Paul Webster, who encouraged Gray to write his first feature script.
As a child growing up in Queens, New York, Gray aspired to be a painter. However, when introduced in his early teenage years to the works… read more
Cop films bore me - even the classics. And "We Own The Night" does nothing to change that. It does, though, have a phenomenal opening: Phoenix fingering Mendes to one of the best songs of the 70s, heart of glass. You can't beat an opening like that, that's a bold way to start your film...
The first act has that same epic sweep of the mundane as the wedding that opens The Deer Hunter. The rest mixes Coppola's allegorical, melodramatic treatment of family (albeit on a smaller, more nuanced scale) with William Friedkin's morally confrontational approach to violence. Gray doesn't film action scenes so much as reaction scenes, drawing mood from the response, not the build-up. Masterful.
Jordan Mintzer’s collection of interviews is an indispensable source of insight into one of today’s best American filmmakers.
Gray is at BAMcinématek tonight. And Offscreen focuses on Fellini and Powell and Pressburger.
OK, so let me get this straight. If you have a father and brother in the NYPD and your regular drug use qualifies you as having “special knowledge” about a drug case, you can become a deputy NY police… read review