By Kevin Yu
Scheduled for a release on August 4 this year, Detroit is Kathryn Bigelow’s latest feature film. I actually does not know her very well. I have only seen two of her movies, The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, but these two instantly became two of my all time favorites. So when I heard there is going to be a new one this year, I follow all the information I can.
On the left hand side is a poster, and here is the trailer.
The trailer does not disappoint. It shows some qualities in Bigelow films that I like the most. First is the way she handles military/police scenes. Hand held camera brings out the most realistic feeling of the military brutality. It cannot be seen in the trailer but I love the lack of music in her earlier two films; it feels real, and it is unsettling in a good way. I love the character building in Bigelow’s previous movies: the four soldiers in The Hurt Locker and the CIA agent in Zero Dark Thirty. I hope she will continue to nail the characters in a much larger cast such as this one.
This movie is about an actual riot in Detroit in 1964. I would have never heard of this part of history if not for this movie. According to Wikipedia, in 1964, Detroit police officers raided and decided to arrest 82 black people in a party. A group of onlookers were raged and started throwing rocks at the police, so the riot began. It lasted for 5 days, not stopped until the army stepped in. 43 dead, 1,189 injured, and over 7,200 arrested. I think it is related to the race and ethnicity discussion in our class and Do the Right Thing we watched.
I find it a generally good strategy to lower the expectation before watching a movie, so I don’t want myself too hyped for Detroit. Here is a mind cooling fact: Detroit was expected to compete in Cannes 2017, but to many people’s disappointment, it not only does not get a spot in the official competition, but fails to even get a special screening. There are many possible reasons for this, “not good enough” being one of them. I’m definitely NOT saying it’s bad before watching it, but I am telling myself that it may not be as good as The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty. And I certainly don’ want to hype other people up before watching it myself :-)
But I look forward to this movie. The background history is shocking. The trailer is well made. And Kathryn Bigelow has done amazing job previously.