Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

Corrupt Cops, "Rampart" and the Crisis of Masculinity

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik November 22, 2011 at 1:53PM

One of my favorite films from this year's Toronto International Film Festival, "Rampart," which has an Oscar-qualifying one-week run starting this Friday in theaters, is a deeply fascinating portrait of masculinity in crisis, and as I argued after Toronto, shares with "Shame" -- another favorite -- a depiction of a man descending into personal hell, swallowed up by his very own testosterone. And though it's about the Rampart scandals of years ago, its vivid depiction of corruption and the excesses of law enforcement should prove greater resonance in these tumultuous days of pepper-sprays and baton beatings.
0

One of my favorite films from this year's Toronto International Film Festival, "Rampart," which has an Oscar-qualifying one-week run starting this Friday in theaters, is a deeply fascinating portrait of masculinity in crisis, and as I argued after Toronto, shares with "Shame" -- another favorite -- a depiction of a man descending into personal hell, swallowed up by his very own testosterone. And though it's about the Rampart scandals of years ago, its vivid depiction of corruption and the excesses of law enforcement should prove greater resonance in these tumultuous days of pepper-sprays and baton beatings.

I don't want to overstate the political relevance of the movie, as it's ultimately a character piece, of course, depicting a sort of slick and charismatic tight-fisted machismo that's collapsing from the inside.

For this Variety article, I spoke to Moverman about the project, who told me about collaborating with James Ellroy on the adaptation of the author's novel and first drafts. "I wanted to out-Ellroy Ellroy," Moverman told me, speaking about the proliferation of clever dialogue and curse words, which create a kind of "street poetry." "It was that kind of rhythm that was really interesting to me." 

"The biggest problem of the script is that it was really huge," he continued. "It needed a lot more money than an L.A. based independent movie could sustain. My job was narrowing it down. It had a complicated plot that was hard to follow, it seemed brilliant, but brilliant beyond explanation."

"And as I started getting more drafts for me to direct, than it became a more interior film than an action film. I became more interested in his character, and the consequences of his actions."

After newbie distributor Millenium Entertainment tries to galvanize Oscar buzz for Woody Harrelson in the next week, they'll release the film wider in January. I hope it gets seen. Along with "Drive," it's one of the best films I've seen set in Los Angeles recently.

Here's the newly released trailer below:


Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Tony: I saw this with my girlfriend. She was completely taken in by it. This movie is no better than a soap opera. Absolute drivel, pandering to…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 28th, 2015 1:03am

By Joe Britz: While rape is a horrible crime, it doesn't mean we simply toss Blackstone out the window. The foundation of our justice system is innocent…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 28th, 2015 12:31am

By Amelia: It reminds me of the Dark Ages, where people would accuse a woman of being a Witch and everybody would simply believe the accusation because…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 27th, 2015 3:25pm

By Joe: There is no rape culture. Rape is a sickening and illegal act but apparently there are some who want to return to the old fashioned lynch mob…

Can Tearjerking Doc "The Hunting Ground" Change Colleges' Sexual Assault Policies?

Jan 27th, 2015 1:31pm

By roosevelto: I think that this movie is many things, one of those is political. Even if we suppose that it wasn't Afflec's intention, when has become…

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

Jan 16th, 2015 5:08pm

By roosevelto: I watched the movie with the most naive eyes possible. I said to myself, don't care about facts, don't care about propaganda, don't care abou…

"Argo" Reconsidered: Ben Affleck is a Right-Wing Propagandist

Jan 16th, 2015 4:53pm

By Anthony Kaufman: "The Look of Silence" will definitely be on next year's list! It hasn't opened in the U.S. yet.

The Top 12 Documentaries of 2014

Jan 3rd, 2015 1:09pm