The Connection (1961)
Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 12
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 77
Experimental director Shirley Clarke's first feature film is a no-compromise look at the dead-end world of drug addiction in Manhattan. Awaiting their next "connection", eight dopers sit in a bleak New York loft. The addicts agree to allow filmmaker William Redfield to shoot a documentary of their lifestyle--for a price. When their connection arrives, he suspects the filmmaker of being a narc and abruptly runs away. The film ends with Redfield agreeing to try some heroin himself in order to more
May 1, 2007
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[Clarke] gets at the inner truth of addicts - that they're pining for transcendence in the void.
The film retains the same beatnik wit that the play effectively distilled, as well as a few scary shocks.
There is little about it to warrant the clamorous interest of the average moviegoer or to distinguish it as a significant piece of cinematic art.
Some creaky business with a Salvation Army sister recalls the piece's stage origins, but the music and the sense of 'dead time' retain a 'beat' authenticity.
Whatever its place on the scale of so-called authenticity, 'The Connection' is concerned with many of the same issues as its more legitimately underground successors. As someone in the movie observes: 'The question is, like why ain't we dead, y'know?'
Exhausting and occasionally juvenile, The Connection is, nevertheless, an experience.
The junkies, as expected, are the real show, and it's here that the theatrical predilections emerge, less "that Barton Fink feeling" and more The Iceman Cometh.
Shirley Clarke's work should continue to be screened, studied, and discussed, as she remains an iconoclastic artist who is vital to the development of the medium.
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