New Video Essay examines ‘presence’ in Michael Mann films


Michael Mann is perhaps one of the most unique and innovative directors working today. From what is arguably the greatest LA crime saga of all time in Heat to the beautiful romance of The Last of the Mohicans and bringing Hannibal Lectre to the big screen for the first time in Manhunter, Mann has created a vast and wide ranging filmography.

A new 9-minute video released on IndieWire called The Sublime Presence in Michael Mann’s Films examines what exactly gives Michael Mann films their undeniable and fiery energy. Created by Tom Kramer, the essay examines Mann’s most legendary work. Manhunter, Thief, Heat, The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider, Collateral, and others are weaved together. Set to Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”, the video delves into the rich, complex world of Mann’s films and his often cold characters.

The video explores the often hyper masculinity that is found in Mann’s films but also the uncertainty and loss that comes with that brutality. One of the best moments of the essay comes when some of Mann’s most memorable shootouts are cut together. The video is a clever and well-made examination of what makes Michael Mann such a fierce voice.

Tressa Eckermann

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