Bang

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Bang

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Shot on a shoestring budget ($20,000) by a minimalist crew working without permits in L.A., Bang tells the story of an aspiring actress (Darling Narita) who's having an extraordinarily bad day. First, she's evicted from her apartment, then she's sexually harassed by both a wolfish film producer and a leering police officer. Pushed over the edge, she steals the policeman's uniform, handcuffs him to a tree, and goes out into society dressed like a police officer. There, she learns that how society treats a person is determined largely by the role that person plays. As a police officer, Narita is automatically afforded a level of respect that she's denied as a short-skirted struggling actress. Though it's significantly more action-oriented than most John Cassavetes-derived films, Bang nonetheless buys into the Cassavetes tradeoff: Like most films that draw on his influential, frequently maddening body of work, Bang exchanges the bland niceties of commercial filmmaking for a less conventional, more improvisational narrative that can consequently seem as confused and lost as its easily rattled heroine. To its credit, Bang is a genuinely unpredictable film, though that unpredictability comes at a cost: The acting is frequently awful, most of the characters register as cartoonish stereotypes, and the film's political content is frequently ham-fisted and obvious. The usually excellent Peter Greene (Pulp Fiction) is nearly unwatchable as a coy, eccentric homeless man, and Narita is erratic as the film's contradictory heroine. Still, despite its many flaws, Bang is still fairly engaging, and it deserves credit for being genuinely different from almost everything else on the market. It's not a very good film, but Bang's integrity and level of ambition make it a strangely watchable little sleeper.

Filed Under: DVD

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