Friday, December 27, 2002

training day: the final hours

The world is a dangerous place to live not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it

-- Albert Einstein

Caught the rest of the features off the Training Day DVD. The HBO behind the scenes documentary has some interesting inter-titles in black, white and grey quoting dictionary lookups on words like 'duty' and 'truth'. Yes, sounds like a clichéd device, but it fits the context of the film. Not much substance except confirmation of the support they received from people in Pinewood/The Jungle among other problematic areas in L. A. (this is confirmed when we meet "Bone", a resident of The Jungle who served as technical advisor and facilitated shooting in The Jungle, besides having a small role in the film). The commentary from directory Antoine Fuqua is heartfelt and insightful, without any of the flourish and pretentiousness that I have sensed in other director commentaries (a key culprit here is Peter "over-rated" Bogdanovich). He explains the rationale behind choosing to shoot on location to capture the expressionist texture that the city offers to the subject. While the commentary contains the obligatory and conventional "X did a great job" lines, it's still a pleasant journey along with a director highlighting the achievements of a crew that agreed on a great subject. The deleted scenes complement the commentary (although I would have loved to see the extended version of the scene when they make their first "arrest", terrorizing some young kids who've just got some marijuana). Especially interesting are two scenes (a) Alonzo reminiscing about his first days on the job (b) Smiley telling Jake what he has to do, directing him to the Jungle for the inevitable (and logical) final showdown with Alonzo (the scene also has the uncomfortable undertones that Jake is probably on his way to becoming another Alonzo, albeit along a different route).

"Ernest Hemmingway once said, 'The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part.".

The closing lines of Se7en, which also pairs an experienced black cop (in his last week at work too) and a fresh white rookie, although taking them along a completely different course of events, with a more clearly defined villain. Couldn't help thinking also about The Devil's Advocate and (justfiably) Apocalypse Now.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.