Heavy Traffic [Blu-ray]
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Michael Corleone (not the only reference to other popular films of the times) scribbles away at his drawing board while his Catholic father and Jewish mother wage Armageddon outside his door. He finds comfort and release seeing the world as an absurd, psychotic cartoon. Pretty much a loner, his main connection to the outside world is a black bargirl named Carol who works right downstairs from him and slips him drinks for his entertaining sketches. An unfortunate incident with a drag queen associate costs Carol her job, and she and Michael end up out on the streets together, since he can't seem to make ANY sort of job situation come together. They form a sort of hustling alliance, with him as her pimp, and they nosedive into dark urban realms of the quick buck and the inevitable personal compromises involved.
All this is interposed with images of live city backdrops and numerous references to a pinball game. Ralph Bakshi's animated vision is a moving work of underground pop art which, despite limitations, was a groundbreaking achievement that pushed the frontiers of American animation thousands of miles. I can see the influence of this film (and Bakshi's work in general) on the likes of Matt Groening, Don Bluth, and yes, even parts of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Heavy Traffic is dark, rude and dangerous. At times it has an almost experimental feel, moving at a stream of consciousness pace more than any conventional narrative.Read more ›
First off, there is a lot of great animation in here, although it lacks precision and professionalism , although I chalk that up to lack of funds for pencil testing and Bakshi's relative inexperience with feature animation. However, the animators do manage to get the personality of the characters across quite well. The characters in this film feel real, although they have caricatured appearances, but in some ways, the cartoony drawing style of the movie enhances the emotional realism of the characters. They're both lovable and deplorable at the same time, which makes them feel like real people. You'll never see Mickey Mouse or even Bugs Bunny do any of the stuff they do in this movie. One of the most interesting aspects of this movie is that it prides itself on being a animated movie. A lot of animated films have followed the Disney pattern of trying to disguise the animated factor by following a live-action pattern (trying to emulate live-action). This film tries to do what can only be done in animation. As such, there is a lot of surreal moments loaded with symbolism, although you will have to watch it a few times to get them. A key strength to any Bakshi film, but particularly his early ones, is collage of different styles.Read more ›
Also important is than not everybody appreciates surrealism. Therefore, this item is not for everyone, and especially is unsuitable for not mature audience (because of quite credible quality of certain graphic scenes).
I find as no surprise that some of the most notorious faces from "Heavy Traffic" can be spotted in recent times in many places, take "The Simpsons" as example.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived as ordered. :-) Love this movie. Looks beautiful on blu-ray.Published 18 days ago by Luisa Hughes
Dark...like really dark, that did not stop me from laughing hysterically between cringes.Published 3 months ago by Natasha Madison
This, like all Bakshi creations is undeniably bizarre: no more or less so than most of his others. If you liked THEM, You will probably find this one OK or better.Published 14 months ago by Randall F.
A must have for all you lovers of animated films from the 70s. Like 'Frits the Cat' and 'Heavy Metal'.Published 16 months ago by Dales