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Tavis Smiley Interviews Michael Mann about HBO Luck

A TV interview with Michael Mann is about to be aired on PBS, by Tavis Smiley. It has been fully transcribed into yet another fascinating interview, with some superb insights into his latest work on “Luck”. Must reading. Make sure you click READ THE TRANSCRIPT to read it.

Here is an excerpt. To see the full interview click here.

Tavis: If I were to ask you, as I will now, to put in a nutshell what the viewer, what the takeaway is for the viewer over this first year of the series, it is what? What are you trying to get us to wrestle with? What’s the takeaway here for us the first season?

Mann: Ace, who emerged from prison, having done three years for a crime he didn’t commit, is motivated by vengeance towards the people who put him there. It was a man named Michael Smythe, who’s played by Michael Gambon, who played the head of Brown & Williamson Tobacco in “The Insider.”

In seeking vengeance, Ace is going to get involved in buying Santa Anita, with a plan to bring casino gambling in, and it’s a trap that he’s setting. Along the way, Ace starts to connect with his horse, that’s the Red Irish horse, and then the unexpected occurs with Ace.

Each of these story tracks all vector towards culminating episode eight and nine. Walter will run the black horse at the exercise girl. There’ll be a competition between the exercise girl and Ronnie Jenkins, the jockey, played by Gary Stevens, who actually won the Kentucky Derby twice, who shows up at the competition. Who’s going to ride that horse?

The degenerates win, and the degenerates, what they’re going to do with their winnings, they are going to become horse owners. They are going to wind up owning that horse that you first saw race. That’s going to become their horse.

So they become horse owners, still living in this ratty motel in Koreatown called The Oasis.

Turo Escalante and the (unintelligible) that story continues with complexities of their romance and their relationships, and everything moves towards the realization of the deeper conflicts, the resolution of the deeper conflicts within every single one of our characters.

It’s almost as if each one is fighting some aspect of their own inner nature, and luck, to us, means, to me it means the yearning for transcendence, the yearning for some kind of change. The degenerate gambler who thinks I used to be a prince, I’m going to become who I really used to be if I win, or Marcus, who actually would like not to win, because he’s very uncomfortable having won. I’m talking about episode two now.

But that common yearning for change, change in one’s life that I think each one of us seeks, that’s the universality that I think is in this show that’s really rewarding when you stick with it.

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