Magazine July 20, 2009, Issue

Film: Enemies of the State

Public Enemies Trailer Screengrab (watchCulturetainment/via YouTube)
A review of Public Enemies

The only thing truly surprising about Michael Mann’s Public Enemies is that it took him so long to make it. From his debut film, Thief, down through Heat, Collateral, and Miami Vice (the DayGlo TV show and the blue-black movie alike), Mann has made a career out of cops-and-robbers mythologizing. But why invent legends when the truth is even more remarkable? Why fabricate modern-day John Dillingers when you can tell the story of the man himself?

Not that the tale Public Enemies tells agrees exactly with the historical record. Mann’s portrait of Depression-era America’s most prolific bank robber, embodied by Johnny

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In This Issue

Articles

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Books, Arts & Manners

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Letters

Letters

I read William Voegeli’s review of Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift with pleasure and genuine interest.
Poetry

Poetry

When you deserted your military post, you fled from India as a refugee, then sailed — where else?

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