Indianapolis Melodrama: Public Enemies Trailer Debuts

I’m not tech savvy enough to figure out how to embed it on the site, but those curious about Michael Mann‘s Public Enemies will want to fly over to the Apple site to watch the latest trailer.

It’s exciting stuff, showing off the compositional flair of cinematographer Dante Spinotti, who worked with Mann on The Insider and Heat. He’s also made gangsters gleam in L.A. Confidential. The opening bank robbery reflects the interest in criminal process which goes back to Mann’s debut Thief. I also like how the jackets of the gangsters contrast with the grey edifice of the bank. They’re like gleaming insects crawling up the institutional edifice. Clothing is clearly going to be key here–also prominent is the red of Billie Frechette’s coat, which will prove to be John Dillinger’s undoing.

The trailer seems to intimate that Depp will be playing Dillinger like the missing link between Warren Beatty’s Clyde Barrow and Martin Sheen’s Kit from Badlands. He explains to one bank customer that he won’t be taking his money, just the bank’s. He grins to himself watch a newsreel turning his exploits in to entertainment. The airport/shackle scene also seems particularly resonant.

Mann may also have picked the right moment for his cops and robbers films. The International has already established banks as the enemy. (Although its BO take looks like Citibank’s asset sheet right now.) Dillinger as Robin Hood (or Jack Sparrow) could be a meme which the public are ready for. Brits are usually cast as villains. Here the creation of the FBI is announced by a man with an English accent, and fed Melvin Purvis is played by the Welsh Christian Bale. When Bale has his De Niro/Pacino/Heat moment with Depp, a bar crosses his mouth so the audience can’t see it move. He is not a crime-fighter to be trusted. Roll on, July 1.

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