Blackhat: No Longer in Control | Michael Mann, Alpha of Action Cinema

In cyber-security lingo, Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent. Unlike a white hat hacker, the black hat takes advantage of the break-in, perhaps destroying files or stealing data for some future purpose. The black hat may also make the exploit known to other hackers and/or the public without notifying the victim. This gives others the opportunity to exploit the vulnerability before the organization is able to secure it.


After 5 years, Michael Mann, pure action auteur of flawed heroes (Heat, Collateral and The Last of the Mohicans) will finally return to the silver screen in January 2015 with a cyber crime thriller named after the exact same term. If film-makers in the US were ranked according to some hypothetical hierarchy, Michael Mann competes among the highly evolved alphas of cinema.

This stylish American director is a lethal combination of visual aesthetics and psychological truths in character study. Responsible for mood films that make the sleek machismo seen in Jason Statham movies resemble pre-pubescent kids, this time, he shares writing credits with Morgan Davis Foehl.

I can’t wait to immerse myself in another secluded, self-contained world that sweeps across the neon lit cityscape. Black Hat’s latest trailer contains a memorable sequence that seems to dwell on characters with inner lives that traverse the complex chasms of loneliness and connection. Prisoners of professional identities are given counterweight by chasing targets across continents.

If someone must elevate stock cyber-terrorism material to a more sophisticated, poetic narrative, that person would have to be Michael Mann.

Official Synopsis: Set within the world of global cybercrime, Black Hat follows a furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners as they hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Jakarta…

The filmmaker discussed in detail his upcoming movie Blackhat, about cyber hacking, on which he has been working for 2½ years, and said he had met with several hackers — including ones who had been imprisoned. “The U.S. is involved in foreign espionage as aggressively and avidly as they can,” he said, though he added that he believes the American government has not played any part in commercial espionage.

“All of our trade secrets, our commerce, our defense contractors, our businesses, our accounts, our banks, are subject, are vulnerable to invasion,” said Mann. “I really believe I was doing the kind of research that maybe anthropologists do, where if they’re going to write about a tribe in the Nilotic Sudan, they go live with a tribe in the Nilotic Sudan for a year.



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