We have been feeling the rush on the streets from people begging to see a glimpse of the Toxic Tom logo. I’m talking New Kids on the Block times Backstreet Boys times One Direction type hype.
Alright, so you all can stop camping below our balcony window, you all can stop lighting yourselves on fire, engraving Toxic Tom onto your chest, killing newborn children because here it is; The Toxic Tom logo in all its drunken glory.
“I guess somebody thought he was a bastard but he was somebody.”
When talking about movies that take place during the holidays the same candidates get brought up over and over again; A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, etc, etc. You might even give some left field Christmas flicks a try; Die Hard or Gremlins or Bad Santa. But one movie that is just waiting to be rediscovered is Farewell Friend.
“….Goose Liver, Oysters, Turkey…”
Starring European megastar Alain Delon (in his prime after just finishing Le Samourai and having worked with Visconti for many pictures earlier in the decade) and Charles Bronson (who at this point was still regarded mainly as a B-list tough guy and a supporting baddie for much more acclaimed actors).
Bronson had his first starring role (like a lot of famous faces) working with low-budget producer Roger Corman in the Corman directed; Machine-Gun Kelly. But 1958’s Machine-Gun Kelly was a full decade before Farewell Friend and besides a few juicy supporting roles things were not exactly bumpin’ for Bronson. It was in Farewell Friend that Delon made the personal request to have the American tough guy come over to Europe and share the movie with him. Arguably setting up the template for all buddy cop/criminal movies after (see Walter Hill).
After this movie things changed very quickly for Bronson. He was soon cast that same year in Once Upon a Time in the West (another European picture) and became a giant international star. Sergio Leone called him “the greatest actor I ever worked with” and that was after working with Clint Eastwood. The overseas success affected Bronson deeply, so much so he stayed there for almost another five years making a handful of really great European co-productions. Movies like; Violent City, Red Sun, etc. This was all thanks to Alain Delon.
But back to Farewell Friend…
Delon and Bronson play ex-soldiers who are are far more interested in making money than helping any country win any war. But even though they both succumb to deeply amoral crimes to satisfy their greed they equally share a bond of honor. Which of course ties into one of the earlier titles used to market the movie; “Honor Among Thieves”.
“Well you can’t always tell your friends from your enemies. Come right down to it, maybe they’re the same thing.”
There’s something inherently lost in both of the leads. Characters out of touch with their time, they belong more in a revisionist-western approaching 20th century civilization than a modern 60’s post-noir. With pop art splashed over all the sets and secondary characters keen eye for counterculture fashion, Delon and Bronson couldn’t care less about the society they live in and if anything feel trapped by it.
“…and the guys you find nowadays all they want to be is like everybody else.”
They may resent each other but they can’t help but respect each others individuality in a world of perceived conformity. Even if it means they make mistakes time and time again, at least they are making their mistakes.
“If there’s some damn fool thing to do, you never miss.”
Even if the individuality leads to society’s version of slavery; jail, POW camps, being away from the world during Christmas. It’s better to be alone and be with your choices than be with the “petty bureaucrats cooped up in cages”. The irony of course is they spend half the movie cooped up in a cage trying to break into a safe.
“Once in Indochina, for 18 hours I was in a hole full of water. I was alone.”
Existential crime movies are not a new thing, but during this time they were. Melville probably more than any other reduced testosterone and justice to its most minimalist of cinematic tropes – that sort of influence is felt throughout the movie but with a much more lyrical script that allows the movie to take full advantage of the power of dialog. It’s no surprise to find the screenwriter, Sébastien Japrisot, is more known for his novels than screenwriting. The lines of dialog come compacted and crisp. The kind of writing you need to know your way around the typewriter to write.
“Then what the hell are you doing here?”
“That’s the whole point pop, I’m not here.”
The plot of the movie has remnants of a heist flick but goes far beyond genre expectations. A particularly disturbing scene has Bronson taking up the job as a pimp for some extra cash. As he sells his “product” to an underground garage of sleazy millionaires, we watch the frightened girl strip on a rotating car display. While she is discomforted practically to the point of tears a rich scumbag pulls out a talking doll and rests it on his lap. He start pulling the string over and over, demanding the prostitute repeat the dolls singular phrase again and again; “papa gone, papa gone, papa gone”. A scene like this is disturbing even by today’s standards but especially so considering our “hero” is arguably the most evil bastard in the scene.
“There are some things we have to do.”
There are no good guys or bad guys in Farewell Friend. It’s a movie about trying to find life when life doesn’t exist anymore. Watch the movie over the break, it’s what Santa would want.
“Tonight is the first night we won’t be together. Will you miss me?”
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In the wake of the SONY scandal what better time to re-display a few real life Hollywood Hoaxes that have went down in the past.
These pics were all made in promotion for our upcoming doc Hollywood Hoax. We have a ton more that we are going to release soon too. We are just going to give you little tastes at a time. (see the full album here)
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We just added a little Five-O Psycho teaser poster.
Five-O Psycho is still nothing more than a small short at this point, so this is like a poster to get you ready for the short to get you ready for the actual poster to get you ready for the real trailer to get you ready for the full length movie. Simple enough.
The Five-O Psycho short should be dropping any day.
HIDDEN HORIZONS second movie to drop after Hollywood Hoax will be a horror flick entitled REEL.
Coming Reel Soon.