The Last Looks Director on Incorporating Police Corruption Themes into His New Film Neo Noir: Exclusive Interview


Last Looks is Tim Kirkby’s latest film, a neo-noir adaptation of Howard Michael Gould’s novel of the same name. Last Looks follows disgraced former LAPD detective Charlie Waldo, who moved to the woods in order to isolate himself from his past demons and the city of Los Angeles. But his peaceful life is suddenly cut short when his old friend and private eye comes back into his life to recruit him to investigate a high-profile murder.

A TV star is accused of killing his wife, but because of his constant drunkenness he can’t remember the night his wife was killed. Waldo is drawn into a twisting mystery that delves into the weirdness of Hollywood’s rich and famous.

The Illuminerdi had the opportunity to speak with Last Looks director Tim Kirkby on his new neo noir film and how it incorporated police corruption through the idea of ​​incompetence, a broken justice system and a cop ousted for trying to do the right thing.

TIM KIRKSBY SPEAKS ABOUT WALDO’S BUILDING POLICE CORRUPTION INTO LATEST LOOKS

“I think in the last few years we’ve been exposed to so much brilliant documentaries that open up cases of wrongfully convicted people. And there are arguments for and against. So I think the public is all of a sudden incredibly sensitized and aware of how the police operate, certainly in Los Angeles. I think Waldo has this fascinating idea, he’s a victim of his own hubris within the organization. He was the hero of a deal, but then he burned the bridges and started a fire below. And just going completely against what he believed in.

There’s this scene that’s probably the most dramatic scene in the movie where he pours out and you kind of see the reason why he can’t move on. And even he cannot solve this problem. He can’t go back and fix it or even fix it. He is frozen in the decision that was made at that time. It was caused by him. So yeah, he really is kind of an example of something, guilt in its purest form. Because he’s trying to work against him, who he represents, whatever he’s working towards.

And he can’t go any further. And I think it’s, I guess with cases that we can argue with all over the world but there has to be this conflict that we have. Either bury the decision and move on, or convince yourself it didn’t happen. Or you dump it, you put it over there. And that’s what Waldo did. He just couldn’t live with the decision that had been made.

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Charlie Waldo is an impressive detective who quickly rose through the ranks of the LAPD and became a hero to the public after closing a high-profile case. However, his life crumbled around him when he learned the truth about this case and an innocent man’s life was ruined due to his own actions. Waldo was haunted not only by this truth, but by his actions in the face of a broken system that robbed an innocent man of his life even after the truth was revealed. Waldo was quick to go public with this information and because of it, he is considered persona non grada by the police force, even though he was right.

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last look The exploration of a broken system, police incompetence and corruption through the idea of ​​the blue wall is not only very timely, but fits perfectly into the neo noir genre. Waldo is not only haunted by the failure of the system he once served, but also by his actions and the police force he once devoted his life to. Although Waldo did the right thing when he learned the truth, he is considered either a hero or a traitor depending on who is asked, while he seems to see himself as a failure in front of his pay a kind of self-imposed penance with his new isolated family. way of life.

What is interesting is that Last Looks is less interested in dirty cops in the traditional sense than in the “blue wall” and the idea of ​​loyalty within the police even if it can prove to be detrimental. Waldo’s backstory and demons are also strongly tied to the failure of the justice system and the difficulty of unlocking the arrest and prosecution of an innocent person.

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Integrating this corruption into Waldo’s origin and making it a driving force for his character explains why he takes the case. Although reluctant to return to the world, his need to be sure the system doesn’t ruin another innocent is palpable and his resentment towards the LAPD and the system gives this character who has a number of more comedic qualities a depth. and interesting pathos.

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One scene stands out as Waldo confronts the LAPD about their shoddy evidence and instead of listening or heeding his thoughts, he is treated like the enemy and called a “rat”. It’s more important to the LAPD that Waldo understand his place than finding out the truth about the case they’re supposed to be working on. This “blue wall” of silence, this need to protect their institution at all costs, is an example of corruption, but not in the sense traditionally displayed.

Last Looks doesn’t necessarily view fugitive cops as part of a larger conspiracy, unless one views the justice system as a whole as a conspiracy. Instead, it examines the failure of the system and the people who protect said system, even to the detriment of those it is meant to serve and protect.

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The way that Last Looks making it an integral part of Waldo’s origins without going beyond mystery or comedic elements is an impressive balancing act. Last Looks is able to infuse intriguing social commentary into the film without it becoming the main story, an impressive feat, especially with this corruption aligned with traditional noir tropes, but not in the way one might expect.

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Last Looks stars Charlie Hunnam, Mel Gibson, Lucy Fry, Rupert Friend, Morena Baccarin, Jacob Scipio and Clancy Brown. Last Looks is written by Howard Michael Gould based on his novel of the same name and directed by Tim Kirkby. Last Looks is in theaters and available on video on demand now. Are you going to watch Last Looks? Are you a fan of crime noir movies like Chinese district and The big sleep? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social networks and check back with The Illuminerdi for more.

KEEP READING: LAST LOOKS DIRECTOR REVEALS CHINATOWN, THE LONG GOODBYE AND LEBOWSKI’S BIG INFLUENCES ON NEW NEO NOIR DETECTIVE FILM: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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