Mickey is a second-rate New York nightclub comedian and piano playing singer working out of Detroit, where he’s a surprising smash. The comedian becomes convinced the mob is after him though there’s no reason to think so.
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This would gel better with an actor who didn't subscribe to the Method (too much psychology for a postmodern jape like this). But there are still inventive sequences and kooky ideas to be found here, even if the hit-to-miss ratio is dodgier than it would be with Truffaut or JLG behind the camera.
Fascinating time capsule that along with 'A Thousand Clowns' really captures that mid sixties confusion about identity in the post 50's cookie cutter ideal and the coming storm of near revolution Not really a plot based film and definately has the aesthitic of the french new wave. Beatty and Stewart both great here but its the direction of Penn, excellent b&w cinematography and a jazzy score that make it special.
Arthur Penn's fusion of French New Wave stylistics and Kafkaesque storytelling doesn't completely work, but it provides many fascinating images. http://eddieonfilm.blogspot.com/2010/10/arthur-penn-mickey-one.html
Literally a film I love and hate within the space of a nanosecond. Awesome opening. Pretentiousness throughout, yet the score and performances are great, individual shots and scenes. You have never seen anything like it.