THE DOG-- the new film by Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren --for what is likely to be, perhaps for a long time to come, the answer. The film's subject is John Wojtowicz, the fellow behind the bank robbery immortalized by the hit movie Dog Day Afternoon (in which Al Pacino played Wojtowicz). As great a film as is Dog Day, this one proves a bit better in terms of its ability to capture humanity in an encompassing, ever-expanding manner that will keep you on the edge of your seat, even as it has you laughing -- and then crying -- at what it means to experience and understand a hugely flawed human being.
Sidney Lumet made it in his fictionalized film: crazy, anarchic and oddly fun. And considering just how far the gay rights movement has come over the ensuing decades, this story and its characters take on near-mythic proportions, with Wojtowicz becoming a kind of bisexual icon who lives for his libido and goes well beyond the usual symbol of gay rights (or wrongs).
Eventually, though, this film is all about love and family and what these might actually mean -- from perspectives that we've previously barely come close to.
Drafthouse Films and running 100 minutes -- opens theatrically this coming Friday, August 8, in Los Angeles at the CineFamily and the Downtown Independent, and in New York at the IFC Center and Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Click here then scroll down to see all currently scheduled playdates, and note that many of these venues will have special screenings of both The Dog and Dog Day Afternoon on a double bill. Perfect combo!