DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
International DVDs
Reviews by Studio
Video Games

Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Anime Talk
DVD Savant
HD Talk
Horror DVDs
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum

DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info


Antoine Fuqua and Wesley Snipes Interview
Fuqua and SnipesIf the name Antoine Fuqua doesn't ring a bell right away that's understandable, but you've definitely heard of his breakout film Training Day. Fuqua is the man behind that much loved crime drama and now he's delivered a film that lives up to the promise shown there. While I'd argue his past few films are better than some would claim, his latest, Brooklyn's Finest, is his most enjoyable since. It also happens to star Wesley Snipes who is someone nearly everyone is familiar with. While he may not have the most substantial part, Snipes once again reminds us how good he can be when given the right material. Anyway, a few weeks back I took part in a roundtable with both Fuqua and Snipes and here are a few tidbits I got out of them about Brooklyn's Finest. It's now currently in theaters.

DVD Talk: This may sound like an odd comparison, but you seem to be making modern day Samurai movies. Like Akira Kurosawa, your films deal heavily with honor and keeping your morals.

Antoine Fuqua: Yeah, you know Kurosawa... I mean you even mentioning my name and his name at all is amazing. Kurosawa was a great filmmaker and his films always had an operatic feel and I'd say the greatest films always had that operatic feel. Apocalypse Now, look at the grandness of that film. The Godfather, that's very grand in its way. I love that. I've actually been wanting to do an opera myself at some point. For me, this falls more into the genre of modern day noir gangster films. I don't exactly look at it as a cop film. The issues are certainly about the cops and the pressures. It's more of a modern day noir and noir is obviously different now because this is a different world with a different texture. For me, it's the same concept and that's where a lot of it comes from with the design of it.

DVD Talk: Wesley, one of aspects that I really latched onto about Caz was that he's never shown as the bad guy. In any other film he would've been the antagonist, but here he's not and you see him in this very brotherly relationship. Was that something you wanted to play off of?

Wesley Snipes: Yeah and explore the dynamic of guys who are friends and have a love for each other and then because of external forces and circumstances they sometimes feed off each other and even turn on each other. That was kind of the idea I had in mind. It's nice working with Don [Cheadle], because then you wanna make sure you bring your A-game. (laughs)

DVD Talk: Antoine, one theme similar to a lot of your past films is anti-authority. Most of your films seem to carry that and it's here especially with Ellen Barkin's character. Is that just a coincidence or is that something you're trying to get across?

Antoine Fuqua: I've always been with the underdog and it's a funny thing since I grew up loving gangster films: The original Scarface, the original Public Enemy, Kurosawa's films, those samurai films and The Wild Bunch. I also loved The Outsiders and The Warriors. As I grew up I started to realize that a lot of those films were about the abuse of power and how a lot of those guys were fighting against that. When I met Oliver Stone who I loved for what he was doing I realized that a lot of my interest was in showing the abuse of power and the effect of that.

DVD Talk: As I said earlier I enjoy your work and one of the reasons why is because I think you're a very good visual storyteller. There's a lot of symbolic shots like when Tango is in that bathroom and you see all those reflections of him and it's conveying how torn apart he is...

Antoine Fuqua: Yeah.

DVD Talk:There's also the ending where a few characters die and as they're lying down there's lights shining upon them, which seems to tie into a lot of the religious themes. Could you talk about the artistic choices behind those shots?

Antoine Fuqua: (Spoiler Warning) I love this guy, thank you. As I said, it's a spiritual journey. Each one of these guys are a piece of or a version of Jesus or an angel. The movie starts over a graveyard and it's the story of Joel, are all good men dead? The first thing Ethan Hawke does makes his soul gone and then he runs to church. If you notice with Ethan most of the colors are green, because it's greed that starts to eat at him. Even in the confession it's the demons seeping in. With Tango, Don Cheadle's character, Tango is red, which is for the brotherhood, blood, friendship and passion. He's the avenging angel as when he goes to kill someone, which is a sin. Ethan, he's the sacrificial Jesus because he sacrifices his life for his family. Richard Gere, he is sort of a resurrection and a rebirth. He didn't want to do anything. He was selfish and uncaring. He would allow someone to be beaten and slap and he wouldn't do anything. He didn't even have enough guts to shoot himself, but when the opportunity came to him he did the right thing. He had to go into the bowls of hell and into the basement. That's why it's shot like that. His colors are very neutral. Like in the beginning he doesn't have any sheets on the bed because he's a ghost. He doesn't exist. You don't exist if you don't help your fellow man. He goes into the bowls of hell and he isn't a cop anymore, but in the end, he does the right thing. That's why he gets to walk out and that's why I decided not to kill him. He did the right thing. It is the business of service and if you help others then you deserve to be redeemed of your sins. That's my belief. Visually, that's how I started to make choices.


Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise