Rumble Fish


Shot back to back with fellow SE Hinton adap The Outsiders, Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 pic is a personal tale of punch-drunk brotherly love. Colour-blind and half-deaf after years of pointless street fights, local legend The Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke) returns home to find his kid brother Rusty James (Matt Dillon) slowly slipping into the same foggy existence. Lost in violence, hurt and confusion, Rusty has devoted his life to emulating his brother, too dumb to realise he's destroying himself in the process.

Presumably having tanked up on German silents from the '20s, Coppola takes the bold - - and faintly pretentious - - decision to paint this drama in Expressionistic monochrome. Fortunately it pays off, DoP Stephen Burum sieving the story through a smoke-and-mirrors world of skewed angles and looming shadows. Any plot soon melts into the distance as an angst-ridden Dillon wanders through his own hazy psycho-scape, bumping into his drunken father (Dennis Hopper) and a fistful of eye-catching starlets like Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane and Chris Penn. If FW Murnau had made a teen flick, it might have looked something like this.

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