Michael Mann’s “Miami Vice”

Finally starting activities in this blog, with a favorite of ours.

“You can’t negotiate with gravity.”

A scene that, like many in Miami Vice, is a perfect mirror of a previous one, a response that finally gives meaning to actions and stylistic decisions that could seem at first completely gratuitous, pure excess on the part of the filmmaker. This one reflects another dance, at the beginning of the couple’s (very short) relationship, which had much more eloquent movements in a much more detailed space, that is, before it reaches the end, subtracting everything that places them in context. The camera that initially almost refused to keep the couple in focus now gets completely lost on their gestures, and at last, only on their faces… Even the ambient sound fades away. It’s one of the few moments when the movie eschews its intrusive, conflictive montage that interrupts the expression of strong, clear emotions, because they can’t lead anywhere, to a conclusion, not in the world presented by Mann (“time is luck”). Here, only the weight of things when interrelations are shown, put in evidence, this weird kind of scene-building becomes the most striking characteristic of Michael Mann’s late works for me. Just look how he frames the villain, a character that was, up until that point, nothing more than a walking plot device. A perfect example of the level of synthesis that makes Miami Vice his definitive, most accomplished work to date, achieving comprehension of all things, the most difficult and abstract ones, only by watching (like the characters themselves). Could be the best of this century.

Christofer Pallú