Mannuary: Celebrating director Michael Mann at Showroom Cinema

Which film director comes to mind when you hear the term “film-bro”? Chances are your first thoughts are Fincher, Tarantino, Kubrick and Scorsese: undeniably masterful and versatile filmmakers but ultimately well-known for their punchy, exhilarating, and masculinity-driven films. It’s fair to say that films like Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, A Clockwork Orange and Goodfellas were entry points for many young male cinephiles beginning to expand their tastes beyond blockbusters and animated films. However, if you’ve ever spent any time on Film Twitter or Letterboxd, you’ll no doubt have seen one director’s name spring up repeatedly: Michael Mann.

This January, Showroom Cinema has let me use their Showroom Spotlight strand to programme five films from one of the most innovative and stylish filmmakers working today. After an eight-year hiatus, Mann returns to screens with Ferrari: a biopic starring Adam Driver and Penelope Cruz and Mann’s passion project that has been in the works for decades. To accompany Ferrari, I have chosen a few films that span Mann’s career and the creative leaps he has taken.

Beginning on 5th January we have his narrative feature debut, Thief. James Caan plays the titular thief aiming to leave the criminal world for good after one last job. Boasting a score by Tangerine Dream and Caan’s finest performance outside The Godfather this isn’t one to be missed. On 12th, we have Manhunter, the first Hannibal Lector film that predated The Silence of the Lambs by 5 years, and Heat, universally regarded as one of the finest crime films ever made, pitting Robert De Niro and Al Pacino face-to-face for the first time.

After three irrefutable classics, we conclude Mannuary with two later works, lionised as misunderstood masterpieces after initially failing critical and commercially. On the 19th is Miami Vice, an adaptation of Mann’s own iconic television series, which exchanges 80s buddy cop antics for a dark, atmospheric mission of deep cover in the world of drug-trafficking, captured in transgressive digital cinematography by Dion Beebe. Lastly, we have Blackhat, a cyberterrorism thriller with Chris Hemsworth in which Mann demonstrates his mastery of the crime genre in an increasingly modern world.

I feel blessed to help arrange this season of films at the Showroom and can’t wait for audiences to either experience these classics again on the big screen or perhaps for the first time in all their dynamic glory. Grab yourself a mojito and enjoy!

Max Marriott works in the Showroom box office and writes about film.

Book your tickets to film in the Mannuary programme at /mannuary


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