The Keep

The Keep ★★★

The most perplexing film in Michael Mann’s entire filmography but as usual he is a grandmaster at vibes and the atmosphere is pretty strong even in its dumbest, goofiest moments. The opening 15 minutes or so are particularly effective with Tangerine Dream’s score and the strong foreboding images of the Keep itself really lending the schlocky material some gravitas. Then the stuff with the Darkseid-looking Golem and Ian McKellan doing a dodgy American accent despite playing a Romanian come into the picture and it loses its way. Kind of like David Lynch’s Dune, it’s obvious why this isn’t talked about in the grand scheme of Mann’s ouvre but it has a strange power and charm if you get on its wavelength.

My brother’s girlfriend recently became acquainted with Gabriel Byrne on the set of a TV show he’s working on, if ever I was in a position to meet him I feel like I’d primarily ask him questions about the making of this.

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