MacArthur Park (2001)
Despite its grim milieu–a Los Angeles park that is home to cocaine addicts, gangsters, and hustlers–MacArthur Park explodes with energy and humanity. The ensemble drama’s compressed setting is like a small sea in which one denizen’s misdeed or scam-gone-wrong creates currents of violence swallowing everyone else. In the 48 hours or so of the story’s
action, one low-level coke dealer rips off a fading television star, whose revenge involves a would-be rapper, who in turn is trying to escape the park’s culture with the help of a cop who was part of a raid during which another dealer stole drugs from a dangerous Latino gang, etc. Trying to stay alive and hopeful in this endless, cyclical mayhem is Cody, a musician and drug casualty whose abandoned son is reaching out to him.
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