Last Looks follows Charlie Waldo a disgraced former LAPD detective living in the woods to seek solace from the city and his past. However, this peaceful life comes to an end when an old friend and private investigator recruits him for a high-profile case centered around a television star suspected of killing his wife. Last Looks is not only full of insane twists and turns, but the crazy backdrop of Hollywood and LA’s rich and famous.
The Illuminerdi had the opportunity to speak with Tim Kirkby the director of Last Looks. Kirkby revealed the classic noir movies Chinatown and The Long Goodbye that influenced his new neo noir film.
“Well look, Chinatown, The Big Lebowski and The Long Goodbye, were three films that I adore. And I adore the protagonist in all of them. Jack Nicholson for me, is my favorite actor of all time. I just cannot get enough of that performance. He just does something that no actor has ever done. And I think its charisma, the man is so charismatic.
Now the contrast of that is Elliott Gould in The Long Goodbye, who was criticized for his too laid-back version of Philip Marlowe. However, it was almost a prequel for The Big Lebowski. Because what the Cohen brothers did, is they took that tone, which in its time was criticized. It’s not now, it’s a work of art, personally in my opinion. But they managed to almost push it even further, made Lebowski a bit of a stoner. So, I kind of wanted to draw from those three films.”
LAST LOOKS DIRECTOR REVEALS HOW HIS OWN EXPERIENCE IN LOS ANGELES INSPIRED THE FILM
The noir influence is clear in Last Looks perfectly weaving the classic tropes into the film while still finding ways to surprise the audience, but the more comedic The Big Lebowski’s influence is also front an center with humor infused throughout Last Looks. The lead, Charlie Waldo, manages to standout not only in Last Looks, but as a detective in a television and film land scape full of memorable detectives.
What’s interesting about Last Looks is it not only leans into the noir elements, but infuses the film with humor, pathos, and at time a poignant look at our society as well. Director Tim Kirkby explained how it was tricky to find the tone balancing noir, comedy, and pathos. Kirkby also revealed how his own first time in Los Angeles inspired the insanity of the city in Last Looks.
“It’s tricky tonally, this film because I wanted a flavor of noir. I also wanted the comedy aspect, too. But I also wanted some depth and emotions. So, it has this hopefully. He’s a sort of sane man in an insane world. And the people around him are these sorts of caricatures. That reminded me of when I went to L.A. for the first time. And people were coming up to me and saying this crazy shit. And I was just thinking, wow it’s like a cartoon character just in my face.
But what’s interesting is the more you’re in L.A., you sort of assimilate into the L.A.-ness. And I grew to sort of embrace and love it, for all its kind of madness. It’s not really mad, it’s just one’s perception of what you see. So, I was really interested in Waldo’s fish out of water, he’s such a broken hero with no future. And putting him back right to the heart of his ghosts and his demons. And reluctantly dragging his sorry ass through this narrative.
I wanted to make it entertaining and excitement and then obviously Charlie changes. He completely breaks free of himself. And that sort of cushioning of L.A. enabled him to do that. The movies that I studied and enjoyed as a point of reference were those three films. There’s other films as well, Mulholland Drive for me, just give that ‘Lynchian’ weirdness.”
The fish out of water aspect of Waldo even as he starts to get a handle on the insanity he has stepped into adds not only to the comedic aspects of the film, but the investigative as well. Kirkby’s ability to infuse Last Looks with not only noir, comedy, pathos, and an almost caricature of Los Angeles gives the film and Waldo particularly unexpected depth. As does the inclusion of police corruption and the sensationalization of a celebrity murder case. It’s clear from his answers that Kirkby has a lot of passion for Last Looks and put quite a bit of thoughts into the story and main character which sines through on screen.
Last Looks stars Charlie Hunnan, 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 noir detective films like Chinatown and The Big Sleep? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media and check back with The Illuminerdi for more.