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Showing posts from November, 2019

VIDEO ESSAY: Scorsese's Second Take

Martin Scorsese's new film The Irishman, which makes its streaming debut today on Netflix, is another landmark achievement from one of the world's greatest filmmakers. The film is also a reckoning for Mr. Scorsese.

The fact that The Irishman opens up with a long tracking shot (photographed by Rodrigo Prieto) is a deliberate nod to Scorsese's -- arguably -- most famous sequence: the long tracking shot into the Copacabana from Goodfellas (photographed by the late Michael Ballhaus). Nearly 30 years after that shot first dazzled audiences, Scorsese looks to be making an amendment to his visual thesis. Gone is the glory and glamour from the Goodfellas days. In The Irishman, melancholy oozes from the edges of the frame. Right out of the gate, we're introduced to the end of the road: a senior home where mob hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) sits alone, awaiting his meaningless death.

When this shot is juxtaposed against the Goodfellas shot showing Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) …

VIDEO ESSAY: Once Upon A Time...In The F.B.I.

Something I tend to do at some point in the evening, whether or not drinks are involved, is to make anyone who is visiting my apartment sit down and watch something I love or find compelling or just want to share because I think it's the most special thing. It could be a whole movie or a short film or a music video. Maybe it's an SNL digital short. Sometimes it could be a video essay I just cut and want some feedback on. The through line is always the same: it's the moving image that I always go back to, wanting to relish in experiencing it with other people.

In the months since first watching Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood, his slow-burning cinematic love letter to Tinseltown in 1968, it's become fact that this movie serves the same purpose for Mr. Tarantino. It's not just a glorious "hangout movie" -- it's a glorious "hangout movie about watching movies -- and TV and commercials and even just listening to the radio.&qu…