Detroit

Listen to Detroit on The Next Reel Film Podcast

"Everybody isn’t thieves and murderers."

It seems that after finding such success making films about real-world situations in The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal wanted to keep going in that direction with their next project. They learned about the riots in Detroit in 1967 and, after doing many interviews, settled on a particular incident that took place at the Algiers Hotel. This ended up becoming the film Detroit, which was released almost to the day of the 50th anniversary of the incident. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we close up this round of our Kathryn Bigelow series with her film from last year, Detroit

We talk about how the film worked for us — Pete loved it, Andy really struggled with it — and debated about why that is. We look at the fantastic actors who carry this film — Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, John Boyega, Will Poulter, Hannah Murray and more — and discuss what they all bring to the table. We contemplate how the story was structured and debate if there might have been a different way to approach the story that could have made it more effective. And we touch on the cinematography by Barry Ackroyd and how the documentary handheld approach works really well with this story they’re telling. 

There is plenty of debate as to whether this is a great film or a well-intentioned mess, but either way, it allows for a fantastic conversation. Check out the movie — it’s an important moment in American history even if you don’t end up liking the film — then tune in to this week’s show. The Next Reel. When the movie ends, our conversation begins.

Film Sundries

Pete Wright