Fat City — Sam Levy

"How’d you like to wake up in the morning and be him?"

The Next Reel’s Speakeasy is an ongoing series of ours in which we invite an industry guest to join us and bring along one of their favorite movies to talk about. In this month’s episode, cinematographer Sam Levy joins us to talk about one of his favorite films, John Huston’s 1972 boxing film Fat City

We talk about the depressing story presented here as these characters try to reach the good life and why some of us can connect easier to it than others. We look at the incredible (and incredibly dark) cinematography by Conrad L. Hall and discuss the importance of a cinematographer getting to time their own film. We chat about the brilliant cast, from the actors like Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell and Nicholas Colasanto; to the real-life boxers like Curtis Cokes and Sixto Rodriguez. We discuss Kris Kristofferson’s song “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and why it works so well in this movie. And we touch on what critics thought of the movie compared with how it did at the box office. 

John Huston was at a period in his career where he’d been making some duds so it’s great to see him return to top form with Fat City. It’s a master class in cinematic realism and a boxing film well worth watching and discussing. Check it out then tune in!

Film Sundries