"Little Odessa" is to New York what "Heat" is to L.A. Furlong lying dead on the floor is like a mirror image of Alain Delon (the shot the The Smiths would later use on the cover of their "The Queen Is Dead" LP) lying dead at the end of "L'Insoumis"/"The Unvanquished" by Alain Cavalier. Fate dominates this in a very Cimino, Mann, Mizoguchi-ian way. A mainstream auteur was born. What a birth! Is the film burn in ... ▽
35mm, rewatched, re-rated. In his first two films, Gray retakes the mythology of immigrant mafias in the United States and turns it into a tragedy toward silence and void, that is, the accumulation of crimes and confrontations are sudden becomings of a language without excess or predictability - cinema inscribed by a liturgy of space and time dimensions. And memory, ...
Interestin how Gray's other films show necessity of social conformity along with price to one's individuality.But Odessa shows price of nonconformity: Roth lives life of 90s movie-criminal/hero: freedom, money.But in Gray's movie world he is a prisoner + social consquences for his out of the ordinary life is destruction for others. Opposite of We Own + Lovers. Furlong is end of GenX lookin to wrong model.
James Gray's debut set the stage for what has turned into a brilliant career. The bonds of family and community butt heads with individualism with tragic results. Gray understands the war within individuals who want to break free of their roots but cannot. A powerful debut which holds up much better than other mid to late 90's crime films because he does not feel the need to be Quentin Tarantino.