54. Michael Mann
HEAT, THE INSIDER, LAST OF THE MOHICANS, COLLATERAL, ALI, MANHUNTER
It is my view that the films of Michael Mann are the perfect blend of style and substance. There is no doubt that he is a flashy director. His camera is hardly objective, nor is his editing languid. This springs from his desire to be an active director, not a passive one. He is not interested in sitting back and letting the events unfold before us. He likes to get you as close to his characters as possible, both physically and emotionally. Ever since his creation of the quintessential 1980s drama “Miami Vice,” Mann’s work is often classified as “cool.” This is true, but perhaps a little too simple. He may create a more stylized version of our world, but he peoples it with characters as undeniably human as those found in a Vittorio De Sica film. In The Insider, Mann takes his cues from the characters and makes a seemingly run-of-the-mill story into a tense, tragic opera of emotion and stress. And yet, in action films like Heat, Collateral, and Manhunter, he takes what could be typical character types and explores their deeper emotions, philosophies, and motivations. In art, there is always the discussion of style versus substance. With Michael Mann, it’s a bit more complicated. The substance is stylized and the style is surprisingly substantial.
See the full list HERE.