Saturday, 17 December 2011

The car chase movie scenes you must see before you die

I love movies, but I hate cars. I hate them because they're rolling, polluting coffins to me. I love them only when they are used in action films. Like in these ones. Classic old movies that use cars with respect, in beautifully filmed chases, with great actors and no lazy CG shit. Enjoy!

BULLITT - dir. Peter Yates (1967)
It's difficult to resume this movie but it's very easy to watch Steve McQueen in this exciting sequence that started it all.

THE FRENCH CONNECTION - dir. William Friedkin (1971)
Popeye Doyle (Hackman) chases a madman (Marcel Bozzuffi) and the subway he took over. Friedkin shot this gasping scene with no authorization from the authorities. Five Oscars!

GONE IN 60 SECONDS - dir. H.B. Haliki (1974)
This fun chase is very long, split in 4 parts so follow up! And forget the remake with Nicolas Cage.

THE DRIVER - dir. Walter Hill (1978)
Ryan O'Neal plays an expert driver regularly hired by robbers so he gets them away from the police. A great concept from writer/director Walter Hill.

MAD MAX - dir. George Miller (1979)
Ouch! One of the most violent films ever. Not for everybody! Only problems: this is not the original Australian version, and the quality is quite poor. But what the hell?

TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. - dir. William Friedkin (1985)
For me, one of the best police films in history. And one of my favorite films. With starting William Petersen, way before he became the CSI star, as a cop chased by other cops after a robbery he planned, in this incredible scene. Friedkin is THE car chase expert! We haven't finished with him yet!

THE HITCHER - dir. Robert Harmon (1986)
Two young innocent people are chased by the police - and are rescued by the killer! A terrific scene from another of my favorite movies. With an extraordinary actor, Rutger Hauer, as the playing maniac.

THE HIDDEN - dir. Jack Sholder (1987)
The bad guy here is in fact a hidden, aggressive alien, turning the most honest citizens into the worst criminals! An excellent, very underrated police horror film with this great opening scene.

AMSTERDAMNED - dir. Dick Maas (1987)
The Dutch too, can film great chase scenes! Here it's not a car one but a boat one, filmed through Amsterdam. My favorite chase scene, enjoy! You won't believe it!

COLORS - dir. Dennis Hopper (1988)
Sean Penn and Robert Duvall chase gangmen through the Watts area, in this awesome, violent flick from late actor/director Dennis Hopper. With a great soundtrack from Herbie Hancock.

POINT BREAK - dir. Kathryn Bigelow (1992)
Oscar winning director Bigelow and executive producer James Cameron - they were married at the time - deliver a full adrenaline packed flick that reaches its top during that car chase turning into a running pursuit.

JADE - dir. William Friedkin (1995)
Third flick in this list from Friedkin, with David Caruso, way before he became the CSI Miami star.

RONIN - dir. John Frankenheimer (1998)
An American film showing this chase scene shot in Southern France, through very narrow streets.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


This is an editorial I submitted a few days ago to a handful of mainstream newspapers in London  The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent. Since I haven't received any response from any of them so far, I'm publishing it on my blog.

"What can be expected in 2012? Let’s examine the present situation.

"On one side, we have a very serious financial crisis spread all across the Euro zone. On the other side, we have Israel threatening to attack Iran, if the United States don’t do it for them. Stuck just between those two great, heavy blocks, the one doing everything necessary to go to recession, the other doing everything necessary to go to war, we have Turkey, that country sitting on Europe and Near East, that recently got hit by two big earthquakes in only a couple of days. These earthquakes could be the results of natural causes as well as political – was the international pressure too strong to take for Turkey and its so fragile construction?

"Less than two months before year 2012, all the religious and pseudo-scientists predicting the end of the world for this year must be very happy – all the signs are reunited for this to happen. Let’s remember that in 1998, under Bill Clinton’s presidency, the Republicans had put pressure on him so he goes to Iraq with the heaviest bombs ever. The same thing is happening again now, with the Republicans putting pressure on Barack Obama so he does the same with Iran, Sarah Palin notably, who likes to believe that everyone thinks and reasons just like her, and who’s very cynically arguing that a war against Iran and Ahmadinejad would assure Obama to be reelected – something that the Republicans are yet the last ones to wish for him. Bill Clinton hadn’t fallen under the pressure, we can expect Obama not to do that either but if he’s not reelected in November 2012, if the Republicans come back in charge next year, we can easily expect them to attack Iran right away, for a reason that is as easy to guess – for oil much more than for getting rid of the Iranian nuclear capacity. A war against a country that has more or less clear nuclear capacities would be, much more than with Iraq a decade ago, a clear crossing of the course of deterrence, and would lead to another World War that could burn the whole planet. And the end of the world is predicted by many people for... December 21, 2012. Which means, right after the next American presidential elections. Some other people have told of some miscalculation, and moved the date of the end of the world to October 28, 2011. This date is now behind us and nothing has happened. I don’t believe in any such prediction – the end of the world has already been predicted, many times before, in so many ways, especially before year 2000. Nothing had ever happened, even if French president Jacques Chirac and German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had stopped the end from occurring by refusing to go with Bush to Iraq ten years before, in 2002 – in my opinion –, something that nobody could have foreseen. When I see what’s going on I still don’t believe at all that the end of the world is for next year, still...

"In the meantime, the Euro zone crisis keeps influencing the political scenes, all over the continent. The crisis has been first provoked by the political elites that believed that an European money was needed to compete the American dollar and to fight its influence. Without understanding that Europe is a continent (not a country), an ensemble of very different countries with different economics and languages. The entry in the Euro zone of the first country in big deficit or irresponsibly ruled (like Greece), had been enough for everything to collapse. “The euro money doesn’t work so we have to kill it, to return to all of our previous national currencies,” most of the political extremists seem to be saying. And the situation is bringing them the best reasons to be happier and more credible and popular. They probably wont even have to kill the euro money. The possible arrival in charge of extremist people in Europe (in Switzerland, Greece and especially in France, where the next presidential elections are for May 2012), added to the heavy situation in the Middle East, with the Israelis now looking for another enemy to attack – since Palestine has just entered UNESCO and become more credible politically – can add to the explosive side of the situation; if America doesn’t attack Iran, Israel will.

"Roland Emmerichs big Hollywood film, 2012, shows the Earth struck all over its surface, by many big natural disaters predicted and foreseen by the Maya calendar. The present situation can suggest the end coming from other, unnatural causes - (thermo)nuclear ones. What will (may) happen next year? Has mankind gone stupid enough to do everything it takes to run straight into a programmed, global disaster, without doing anything to stop it? We'll have to wait after the next American presidential elections to have a clearer  definitive? idea."