Sunday, March 29, 2020

Fever (1999) Neo New York Noir

Another nice forgotten surprise!

Directed and written by Alex Winter, beautiful Cinematography by Joe DeSalvo with Music by Joe Delia

The film stars Henry Thomas as artist Nick Parker, David O'Hara as Will, Teri Hatcher as Nick's gallery owning sister Charlotte Parker, Bill Duke as NYPD Detective Glass, Sándor Técsy as Sidney Miskiewicz, Irma St. Paule as Mrs. Rhula Miskiewicz, Alex Kilgore as Adam Dennis, Marisol Padilla Sánchez as Soledad, Patricia Dunnock as Sophie Parker, Helen Hanft as Louisa, Remak Ramsay as Richard Parker, Lisby Larson as Eleanor Parker, and Jon Tracy as Leonard Wooley.

Greenpoint Brooklyn. Nick Parker. A starving artist. Lives in a shit hole tenement. A five floor walkup. Comes from money. Sister Charlotte owns a chichi gallery. According to Nick she hangs shit. He rejects his connections. Works as an art teacher. Life Drawing. He's screwing his nude model Soledad. Life is workable. Then the shit hits the fan.

The Twin Towers

Nick Parker (Henry Thomas)

Nick with Sidney Miskiewicz (Sándor Técsy) and Rhula Miskiewicz (Irma St. Paule)

Nicks Flop

Nicks upstairs neighbor Will (David O'Hara) 

Life Drawing Class

Nick and Soledad (Marisol Padilla Sánchez) 

The trigger is the brutal murder of his landlord Sidney Miskiewicz.

This murder crosses wires in Nick's delicately balanced mind. From this point on are we watching reality or Nick's paranoid hallucinations. Director Winter and cinematographer DeSalvo do an excellent job of using all the stylistic tools of Classic Noir to give us a grimy dilapidated atmosphere of obsession and alienation using a dingy Hopperesque pallet of sick greens and entrail reds. The effect achieves a foreboding sense of dread.

Nicks world is spiralling into Noirsville.

 Charlotte Parker (Teri Hatcher) 

 Bill Duke as NYPD Detective Glass

Red Birds IRT 

Henry Thomas really sells the character through his body movements, posture and facial expressions. David O'Hara is a natural as your typical overly conflicted baggage carrying Irish nut job. Teri Hatcher and Marisol Padilla Sanchez offer Nick some stability. Sándor Técsy and Irma St. Paule are convincing as the eccentric ethnic mother and son landlords.

Bill Duke plays the complaisant, seen it all before NYPD detective. New York City with its garish Jersey chemical refinery, induced sunsets compliments Nick Parkers psychotic and melancholy laden environment. 7/10

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