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Welcome to A World War II Fairytale: The Making of Michael Mann’s The Keep

In a career that has now spanned over forty years in filmmaking, maverick American director/ screenwriter Michael Mann helped redefine the crime thriller genre in the 1980’s and 1990’s with a series of important, carefully controlled movies, beginning with his explosive debut feature Thief in 1981.

Mann slowly diversified, garnering awards for such work as the historical epic The Last of the Mohicans (1992) the intense drama The Insider (1999), and the biopic Ali (2001), into being recognised as one of the most respected and influential directors working today.

As well as this, audiences have become accustomed to his high style sensibilities, through a unique fusion of visuals and music that were a staple of influence on the wildly successful cop show Miami Vice (1984) his police procedural Manhunter (1986) and the crime thriller hit Heat (1995), helping to again, redefine the landscape of commercial filmmaking through smart, thought-provoking storytelling.

The-Keep-Crosshe Keep, a supernatural best-seller, set during Nazi-occupied Rumania in 1941, was written by F.Paul Wilson, a new writer at that time and published in 1981. The material struck a cord with Mann who approached it with the same exhaustive research that he had applied to his crime epics.

The resulting film is considered to be one of the most boldly ambitious works of the 1980’s, fuelled by a desire to create a world not seen on Film since the early German Expressionistic works of the 1920’s.  A difficult struggle for the director and the production, what we’ve been left with is a rare insight into an artist pushing the boundaries of cinema.

A World War II Fairytale: the Making of Michael Mann’s ‘The Keep’ aims to explore the films successes and failures, and its avoidance of easy categorisation – showing a deep appreciation of film and film-making. An uncharacteristic choice in Mann’s career trajectory, The Keep continues to cause debate and admiration in equal measure.

With its thrilling premise and dream-like logic still captivating audiences around the world, we explore Mann’s approach and aesthetic in an all-new never-before-seen light.

Mann on Set

Mann on Set

A view from the entrance of The Keep

A view from the entrance of The Keep