Bringing out the Dead
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35mm Print! Staff Pick! Chosen by Luke. "BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, based on a scorchingly vivid 1998 novel by Joe Connelly, describes the life of a night-shift paramedic encountering one bizarre crisis after another and very nearly stretched to the breaking point. 'I'd always had nightmares, but now the ghosts didn't wait for me to sleep,' says Frank Pierce (played soulfully by Nicolas Cage), although Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver might have said the same. In fact, Frank's ambulance carries Taxi Driver as dangerously heavy baggage when it makes its nightly rounds. Twenty-five years later New York's neon lights whiz past Mr. Scorsese's camera much faster, but the sights on the tour have barely changed. "But the essence has changed: the loner who sought violent release in Taxi Driver has become a lonely guy seeking a state of grace. Faithfully and succinctly adapted from Mr. Connelly's book by Paul Schrader (who also revisits his Taxi Driver triumph here), the film tells of a man driven wild by real horrors, not paranoid imaginings. Early in the film Frank and one of his several sharply etched partners (John Goodman) answer a call from the Burke family and find the senior Mr. Burke apparently a corpse. In an eloquently suspenseful sequence that illustrates Mr. Scorsese's utter command of his medium, Frank succeeds in restoring his life.
Venue: IFC Center
323 6th Ave
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