While you sleep soundly in your bed, the night lepers lord the streets of New York City, lusting after the highest high. Harley “homeless” Holmes is their patron saint, caught in the throws of perpetual extremes. On one corner, her malevolent lover demands a bloodletting.
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Several scenes in "Heaven Knows What" achieve a kind of street level poetry, as when a young drug dealer on the sidewalk spins a tall tale to pioneering electronic musician Isao Tomita's synthesizer cover of "Clair de Lune." Admittedly, there are moments when it feels like the bubbling electronic score was only included so this resolutely bleak film would have at least one commercial element.
Nice junkie love story: they steal stuff, they get high, they fight, they make love, etc. These guys are so cool and have all kinds of adventures. All I can do is watch films and think about how my life could be so cool like theirs.
Come to mind the films made by Jerry Schatzberg with Pacino in the early 70s: a visual investigation of the facts and occurrences of a particular social marginality. Dynamic articulation between camera and actors, spaces swept by a fictional setting of disturbance, mean streets under influence. Particularly striking is the sequence at the psychiatric hospital, where image and sound are join(t) in a sliding turmoil.
Great performances from the main leads and an agitated soundtrack that feels well suited kick things of with promise but the film falters around the hospital scene and falls into an improv session with repetitive dialog, undoing the good work before it. It's a familiar world with an a brave concept but the Safdies have created a sense of detachment that never lets the viewer in. 3 stars
... an independent blend of fiction and documentary with a 70’s look and bristling synth score - is set with vibrant tones and exhibits a notable camera work, as well as a radiant photography by Sean Price Williams. (3.5 stars)
That space has been made for these voices and these faces to collaborate in telling this (their) story (in this way) is a profound gift to all of us w/ the intestinal fortitude and the goddamn hearts to receive it.
From stumbling across the trailer i thought it had potential and looked interesting,after watching it i was wrong for the most part.It does have its moments but those moments are few and fleeting.It just doesn't holdup cohesively and overall my viewing experience with it just felt so shallow that it left me cold.See it strives to be a certain type of film but it just can't achieve it in any meaningful/memorable way.
The first 20 minutes are the best of the film. Beautiful score and sound design. The film is shot on a telescopic lens from across the street, zoomed in as much as possible to achieve a voyeuristic feel. As the film progresses, the story is less compelling but the visuals become more effective. This will leave you emotionally wrecked. Nice ending as well, shows a cycle without trying too hard. Excellent casting.