My Favorite Movies #7

I was a high school senior in 1994 when ‘The Crow’ was released, and it helped cement my undying love of film (pun intended).  The tragedy of Brandon Lee’s death had made the movie famous even before it was released, and the curse of Bruce Lee and his family quickly became an urban legend.  The movie is very much a product of its time; the gothic, postmodern pall that hangs over every scene and the soundtrack packed with grunge place it firmly in the early ‘90s. But that aesthetic, the trendsetting music, and the endless quotable and poetic dialogue backed by an ominous and macabre score spoke to me in ways very few films have.  I revisit ‘The Crow’ often, and believe it is a master class in atmosphere and art direction. Director Alex Proyas has sort of disappeared in recent years, but this film and his ‘Dark City’ took the look of Anton Furst’s Gotham City from ‘Batman’ and turned it up to new heights of decrepitude.  I also marvel at some of the performances – Brandon Lee would have been an enormous star, and character actors Ernie Hudson, David Patrick Kelly, and Jon Polito shine. Yes, some of the effects look 20 years old, and some of the villains are over the top, but this was a defining film for my generation.  The make-up has shown up in hundreds of places since, and the movie showed that even comic book flicks can be lyrical and beautiful.  ‘The Crow’ is one of my very favorite movies.

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