Skip to main content

MIRACLE MILE

USA, 1988 (MIFF 1989)

Director: Steve De Jarnett

4.05 am. Outside Johnnie's Coffee I Shop on Los Angeles' Miracle Mile a public phone rings. When Harry lifts the receiver he is about to trigger the beginning of the end. Of the world.

This seemingly unlikely premise opens Steve Dejarnatt's delirious action-thriller-comedy-drama-romance. In the space of 87 minutes writer/director Dejamatt, (whose 1987 debut feature Cherry 2000 has acquired something of a cult following) shows exceptional bravado in this the most unlikely nuclear-holocaust pic ever, concocting a heady mix of exploitation film conventions (race-against time thriflers/'smash-em-up's'/50's sci-fi) with a glistening visual style, equal parts high-tech and 50's kitsch-like the Miracle Mile itself, the once fashionable strip of Wilshire Boulevard which runs from the ultra-modem skyscrapers of downtown LA to the primordial La Brea Tar Pits.

In the tradition of the cinemas great romantic heroes, but without the luxury of time, Harry, a shy jazz muso fights to protect his very new girlfriend Julie, while attempting to escape from LA before the big blast. The resultant nightmarish trip through the city of one-night last stands detours into a bewildering array of sub-plots including the touching reunion of an elderly couple, the freeway pile-up to end them all, a bathed swipe at LA lifestyles (body worship, hyper-execs, etc.) and the surprisingly lyrical scenes that book-end the film. It's a tribute to Dejarnatt's undeniable skills as a director that he can successfully combine these disparate elements.

A cult movie waiting to be cultivated.

See also...

BIRD

Jazz has always needed its dark, Byronic mar­tyrs: first the white cornetist, Bix Beiderbecke, wrapped in the comparative innocence of Jazz Age flappers and bootleg gin; then the black ... More »

Making a Baby

He wants to make a baby. She isn't very interested in the idea. He decides to go ahead on his own, and unleashes some of his baby-making potential. - (JS) ... More »

The Third Wheel

A bomb inside a baby, a fanatical anti-abortionist, his pregnant wife and a psychopathic hitchhiker, all in a car, on a drive that takes longer than expected. A juxtaposition of fears, ideotogies and ... More »

A HUNGRY FEELING - THE LIFE AND DEATH OF BRENDAN BEHAN

Brendan Behan's life can be divided into 3 parts his youthful years in an English jail for his activities on hehalf of the I.R.A., his writing, drawn largely from his experiences as a prisoner, and ... More »

Artful History - A Restoration Comedy

... ... Mark Dion refers to this film as his 'revenge' for the stress and low pay he had to put up with during the four years he spent in the art restoration industry. ... ... ... Artful History is ... More »

TANNER ‘88

... ... In what may be the best work of two illustri­ous careers, the ever-innovative Robert Altman joined forces with Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, to create a presidential candi­date ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director