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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 ›
This film goes against the grain of your average movie, but executes it in a very wonderful unforgettable way. I guess it all boils down to personal taste with this one. I can see someone wanting a great movie with an all star cast and an engaging plot dismissing this as pure rubbish, but someone simply looking for a film with a truly remarkable bag of neat tricks would give think it was an unloved masterpiece.
I would most certainly give another look at a Bakshi production! Totally an awesome movie!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brings me way back to my teen yrs. ! Great trip back in time . Gritty controversial look at urban life during the Hippie period . Ioved all Ralf Bakshi's stuff ( Fritz The Cat etc. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Blade
This film reminded me of watching internal mental commentaries on what you are actually experiencing. Like watching your parents fight... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Imogene
Arrived as ordered. :-) Love this movie. Looks beautiful on blu-ray.Published 6 months ago by Luisa Hughes
Dark...like really dark, that did not stop me from laughing hysterically between cringes.Published 8 months ago by Natasha Madison