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Posts Tagged ‘Bad Lieutenant’

Gun With Occasional Music – Sci-Fi Private Eye noir heading our way

Posted by LiveFor on December 5, 2009

Gabe and Alan Polsky, who recently produced Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, have optioned the film rights to Jonathan Lethem’s cult novel (he also wrote the cool Omega The Unknown comic book miniseries a while back). The sci-fi noir hybrid, originally published by Harcourt Brace in 1994, has drawn interest from film players for more than a decade.

With a mix of Raymond Chandler-style pulp detective fiction and futurist theorizing, “Music” follows an archetypal private eye through Oakland and San Francisco as he delves into the murder of a prominent urologist. Among Lethem’s inventions are super-smart children called “baby-heads,” evolved animals and animal rights, erotic nerve swapping, debit cards holding one’s karma and a menacing kangaroo that works for the mob.

The books synopsis goes like this “Chandleresque, hard-boiled detective narrative finds a quirky new milieu in this SF/mystery/farce of murder and mass mind control set in a near-future Oakland, Calif. Conrad Metcalf is a private dick, but in his era that profession is even more ignominious than in the past. Due to some extreme governmental measures aimed at maintaining public docility, asking questions is taboo, leaving memory as Metcalf’s sole resource. Government-distributed “Make,” a cocaine-like blend of synthetic, mind-altering drugs, is now de rigeur . So is the magnetic card each citizen carries to keep track of his or her karma points. These points are awarded or docked by “the Office” for good or bad behavior and if the balance hits zero, a cryogenic prison term may ensue. Most of the menial work is done by genetically engineered English-speaking, bipedal “evolved” animals–sheep, apes, rabbits and kangaroos–and one of the latter is gunning for Metcalf. In this confusing age, the murder of Dr. Maynard Stanhunt, Metcalf’s former client, leads the detective to a convoluted conspiracy, unimaginable in our own time.”

Sounds like my kind of story. A mix of Philip K Dick, Kafka, Grant Morrison, Michael Marshall Smith and more.

Gun, with Occasional Music at
Gun with Occasional Music at

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Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – Russian Poster

Posted by LiveFor on November 17, 2009

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Bad Lunetenant: Port of Call Yosemite

Posted by LiveFor on November 14, 2009

A great trailer Mashup of Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and some Looney Tune clips.

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Werner Herzog talks about Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Posted by LiveFor on November 7, 2009



It does not bespeak great wisdom to call the film The Bad Lieutenant, and I only agreed to make the film after William (Billy) Finkelstein, the screenwriter, who had seen a film of the same name from the early nineties, had given me a solemn oath that this was not a remake at all. But the film industry has its own rationale, which in this case was the speculation of starting some sort of a franchise. I have no problem with this. Nevertheless, the pedantic branch of academia, the so called “film-studies,” in its attempt to do damage to cinema, will be ecstatic to find a small reference to that earlier film here and there, though it will fail to do the same damage that academia — in the name of literary theory — has done to poetry, which it has pushed to the brink of extinction. Cinema, so far, is more robust. I call upon the theoreticians of cinema to go after this one. Go for it, losers.

What the producers accepted was my suggestion to make the title more specific—Port of Call: New Orleans, and now the film’s title combines both elements. Originally, the screenplay was written with New York as a backdrop, and again the rationale of the producers set in by moving it to New Orleans, since shooting there would mean a substantial tax benefit. It was a move I immediately welcomed. In New Orleans it was not only the levees that breeched, but it was civility itself: there was a highly visible breakdown of good citizenship and order. Looting was rampant, and quite a number of policemen did not report for duty; some of them took brand new Cadillacs from their abandoned dealerships and vanished onto dry ground in neighboring states. Less fancy cars disappeared only a few days later. This collapse of morality was matched by the neglect of the government in Washington, and it is hard to figure out whether this was just a form of stupidity or outright cynicism. I am deeply grateful that the police department in New Orleans had the magnanimity and calibre to support the shooting of the film without any reservation. They know — as we all do — that the overwhelming majority of their force performed in a way that deserves nothing but admiration.


New Orleans. This was fertile ground to stage a film noir, or rather a new form of film noir where evil was not just the most natural occurrence. It was the bliss of evil which pervades everything in this film. Nicolas Cage followed me in this regard with blind faith. We had met only once at Francis Ford Coppola’s, his uncle’s, winery in Napa Valley almost three decades ago when Nicolas was an adolescent, and I was about to set out for the Peruvian jungle in order to move a ship over a mountain. Now, we wondered why and how we had eluded each other ever since, why we had never worked together, and it became instantly clear that we would do this film together, or neither one of us would do it. There was an urge in both of us to join forces.

Film noir always is a consequence of the Climate of Time; it needs a growing sense of insecurity, of depression. The literature of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett is a child of the Great Depression, with film noir as its sibling. I sensed something coming in the months leading up to the making of the film: a breakdown which was so obvious in New Orleans, and half a year before finances and the economy collapsed, the signs were written on the wall. Even films like Batman turned out to be much darker than anyone expected. What finally woke me up was a banality: when attempting to lease a car I was confronted by the dealership with the unpleasant news that my credit score was abysmal, and hence I had to pay a much higher monthly rate. Why is that, I asked — I had always paid my bills, I had never owed money to anyone. That was exactly my problem: I had never borrowed money, had hardly ever used a credit card, and my bank account was not in the red. But the system punished you for not owing money, and rewarded those who did. I realized that the entire system was sick, that this could not go well, and I instantly withdrew money I had invested in stock of Lehman Brothers while a bank manager, ecstatic, with shuddering urgency, was trying to persuade me to buy even more of it.


As to the screenplay: it is William Finkelstein’s text, but as usual during my work as a director it kept shifting, demanding its own life, and I invented new scenes such as a new beginning and a new end, the iguanas, the “dancing” soul (actually this is Finkelstein’s, who plays a very convincing gangster in the film), the childhood story of pirate’s treasure, and a spoon of sterling silver. I also deleted quite a number of scenes where the protagonist takes drugs, simply because I personally dislike the culture of drugs. Sometimes changes entered to everyone’s surprise. To give one example: Nicolas knew that sometimes after a scene was shot I would not shut down the camera if I sensed there was more to it, a gesture, an odd laughter, or an “afterthought” from a man left alone with all the weight of a rolling camera, the lights, the sound recording, the expectant eyes of a crew upon him. I simply would not call “cut” and leave him exposed and suspended under the pressure of the moment. He, the Bad Lieutenant, after restless deeds of evil, takes refuge in a cheap hotel room, and has an unexpected encounter with the former prisoner whom he had rescued from drowning in a flooded prison tract at the beginning of the film. The young man, now a waiter delivering room service, notices there is something wrong with the Lieutenant, and offers to get him out of there. I kept the camera rolling, but nothing more came from Nicolas. “What, for Heaven’s sake, could I have added,” he asked. And without thinking for a second I said, “Do fish have dreams?” We shot the scene once more with this line, and it looked good and strange and dark. But it required being anchored in yet an additional scene at the very end of the film, with both men, distant in dreams leaning against the glass of a huge aquarium where sharks and rays and large fish move slowly as if they indeed were caught in the dreams of a distant and incomprehensible world.

I love cinema for moments like this.

The films stars Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk, Jennifer Coolidge, Vondie Curtis Hall, Shawn Hatosy, Denzel Whitaker, Xzibit, Shea Wigham, Katie Chonacas and Brad Dourif.

Due out at the end of November.

Source: Film School Rejects

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Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – Trailer – Nic Cage wants to be the Joker so bad

Posted by LiveFor on October 10, 2009

nic-cage-bad-lieutenantIn Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Nicolas Cage plays a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is at scoring drugs — while playing fast and loose with the law. He wields his badge as often as he wields his gun in order to get his way. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina he becomes a high-functioning addict who is a deeply intuitive, fearless detective reigning over the beautiful ruins of New Orleans with authority and abandon. Complicating his tumultuous life is the prostitute he loves (played by Eva Mendes). Together they descend into their own world marked by desire, compulsion, and conscience. The result is a singular masterpiece of filmmaking: equally sad and manically humorous.

Due out on 1st December 2009
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Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – Rejected poster for Nic Cage’s crazy new film

Posted by LiveFor on September 13, 2009

I actually really like this poster, but it is a big no no to point a gun at someone in a movie poster.

Wernor Herzog’s new film has been getting some good press at it’s recent screenings. Review coming soon.

Source: AICN

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Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – Photos from Werner Herzog’s new film

Posted by LiveFor on August 15, 2009

The trailer for the sort of sequel to Bad Lieutenant was out a while back and it looked like a mad, bad, trippy kind of Nicolas Cage kind of movie. Now Collider have a few photos from the film. This will either be incredibly bad or a cult classic.
Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage), a homicide detective with the New Orleans Police Department, is promoted to Lieutenant after he saves a prisoner from drowning in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. However, during his heroic act, he severely injures his back and is put on prescription pain medication. A year later, Terence – struggling with his addictions to sex, Vicodin and cocaine – finds himself in the battle to bring down drug dealer Big Fate, who is suspected of massacring an entire family of African immigrants. The film also stars Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Coolidge and Fairuza Balk.

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