A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Shot for shot and scene for scene, "Bang" is as absorbing as any movie I've seen this year. The movie has its world premiere starting July 4 at Facets Multimedia, and could, with a few breaks, win a lot of attention; it's a powerful sleeper, convincing, provocative and exciting--an adventure in "guerrilla filmmaking" that uses an unexpected story device to hold up a mirror to a big American city.
"Bang" tells the story of a desperate young woman who spends a day wearing the uniform of a Los Angeles policeman, and experiences some of the privileges and sorrows that go with being perceived as a cop. Because it's shot in a flat and realistic style, it's curiously convincing: The story doesn't hype manufactured scenes, but considers what might happen in such a situation. I found myself forgetting the structure and artistry and simply being carried along with the flow.
The movie stars Darling Narita ("her real name" the press notes say) as an unnamed Japanese-American actress, about 25, who has been evicted from her apartment for non-payment of rent. Homeless and broke, she goes to an audition with a "producer" who drops the names of Julia and Dustin, tells her she looks "like an Asian Meryl Streep with brown hair," and then asks her to join him in a phony love scene. Is he a fake? Probably, but in Hollywood not necessarily.
She flees from the house, and runs into a homeless guy who lives in the bushes (Peter Greene, who played Zed in "Pulp Fiction" and was brilliant in the painful "Clean, Shaven"). He won a bronze medal in the '84 Olympics, he says, although he never takes it out of his brown paper bag.