The Panic in Needle Park (1971) is a classic junkie love story.
COOKIE: I actually watched this movie without Red Eye. Because he was at work. And it was new on Netflix.
First of all, I’m kind of a junkie movie junkie, if you know what I mean. I’ve always been really into things like blackout curtains and nodding out in the Tim Horton’s bathroom. Although my drug of choice is NeoCitran, not smack.
Needle Park is definitely less gruesome. More subtle. Which, in my opinion, tends to produce a greater impact. Not that there aren’t mainlining scenes. They’re just less bloody. And no one loses an arm. Needle Park isn’t preachy or anything. It just is.
But hang on, let’s just get this out of the way: Vintage Al Pacino.
Is there anything better?
Man, he was so fucking magnetic then. I know that Kitty Winn won Best Actress at Cannes for her role. And she was great. But I couldn’t take my eyes off of Pacino. God. Remember him in Dog Day Afternoon? Vintage Pacino might even excite me more than Vintage Travolta (and that’s saying something).
Okay. As for the story. It really illustrates the difference between the junkie man and the junkie woman. Especially at that time. It tries to play both sides. But as usual, the male viewer inevitably sides with the man, and the woman with the woman.
Like, in my head I’m going: It’s not her fault that she’s a whore. How the hell else was she supposed to make money while you were in jail? And didn’t you ask her to whore herself out when you needed a fix anyway? And how dare you hit her? A woman does what she has to do to survive. Period. (And naturally, I’m right.)
The male viewer is just like: What a whore.
Too bad Red Eye isn’t here.
RED EYE: I am. And I’m pissed that you watched this movie without me.
COOKIE: Hey. I did what I had to do to not be bored.