The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, August 16, 2004

MOVIES BEHIND BARS
By coincidence, I've taken in an inordinate number of prison-themed movies this past week:

- I caught Midnight Express on TV last Thursday;

- I bought Life on DVD on Saturday and watched it that afternoon;

- I went to see Carandiru at Old Hyde Park Village last night.

While they all have the jail setting in common, they're very disparate films. Midnight Express is a minor classic, as notorious for the fictionalized (despite the "based on a true story" tag) depiction of life in a Turkish gulag as for star Brad Davis' real-life drug addiction during filming. Life is an overlooked Eddie Murphy-Martin Lawrence vehicle that's actually a quite touching comedy. Carandiru is a gritty Brazilian prison drama punctuated by some light touches, before coming to a rather harsh conclusion.

Why the preoccupation with prison flicks? I'll let you speculate. And no softball gay jokes, please, or else I'll be forced to rent Caged Heat--or at least catch Black Mama, White Mama on cable...