"There is no situation you cannot escape from. You know the escape."
David Mamet’s always one to put cons in his films, even when the film is a fight film taking place in the world of mixed martial arts. His 2008 film, “Redbelt,” feels like a mash-up of genres — a con film, a fight film, a film noir, a samurai film, an intimate character portrait. It’s a bit of all of these, and probably because it’s hard to pin it down, it couldn’t find its audience when it was released. Despite that, we wanted to include it in our David Mamet Directs series. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we discuss the 10th film Mamet’s directed. We discuss the nature of the genre mash-up and how it works for us, compared with how it worked for audiences when it came out. We talk about our opinions of the film and why it works for us, despite numerous problems. We chat about Chewie — the amazing Chiwetel Ejiofor — and not only what he brings to the role of the jiu jitsu instructor who stands by his principles against all adversity, but also how that helps make the film what it is (especially the final moments). And we talk about the amazing Robert Elswit and what he brings to the film through his stellar cinematography. It’s a fascinating, wonderful film that definitely deserves to be seen by more people. Check it out and tune in!
- Script Transcript
- Original theatrical trailer
- Original poster artwork
- David Mamet’s Master Class Memo to the Writers of The Unit
- Cyril Takayama’s Magic on Youtube