Hollywood’s recent blockbuster Public Enemies shows a side of our humanity that captivates moviegoers the world over. It’s that side of us that admires those who dare to take on the system and, in so doing, win the hearts of those who support the underdog, whatever their mission and underlying morals. These age-old allegiances have been explored in many films over the decades, and as the art form enables the retelling of real-life events to provide an alternative take on events, audiences view so-called “good guys” and “bad guys” from completely different perspectives. One can feel affection for Johnny Depp as he plays John Dillinger, one of Chicago’s more notorious criminals, in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies. This is contrasted dynamically when audiences fall for Kevin Costner and Sean Connery as the good guys set against Al Capone in Brian De Palma’s unforgettable film The Untouchables. Films like these influence and inspire huge audiences around the world, and there’s a certain amount of responsibility in their making given the medium’s long-term impact on society.
This year’s tax-incentives report for the Midwest region aims to serve as an update to entice filmmakers like Mann and De Palma into their territories.