A solitary man stands in a dark driveway holding a six-pack of beer, spellbound by a shaft of light. Gregory Crewdson has carefully composed each detail in this photograph, part of his series “Twilight,” in which various residents of an anonymous town are transfixed by seemingly paranormal forces at dusk.
Citing the films of Stephen Spielberg and David Lynch as influences, Crewdson acts as director to actors and a full production crew. His elaborate process results in a single picture, which he refers to as a “single-frame movie.” Here, small-town America is depicted as both familiar and strange, threatening and miraculous.
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995). A 14 part film studies course that you can take from anywhere in the world and learned from again and again. (With thanks to TheDozingLion)
Despite its nearly four-hour running time, this is a uniquely personal look at movies from one of the late 20th century’s great directors and film historians. The film consists of head & shoulder shots of Scorsese speaking into the camera for a minute or two, followed by 10-15 minutes of film clips with Scorsese voice-over. Scorsese approaches the films in terms of how they affected him as a director foremost and as a storyteller/film fan second. Segments include “The Director as Smuggler,” “The Director as Iconoclast”, and so on. The Journey begins with silent masters like D.W. Griffith and ends in 1969 - when Scorsese began to make films; as he says in closing, “I wouldn’t feel right commenting on myself or my contemporaries.”
We love Martin Scorsese to death — and we could listen to the man talk about cinema for hours on end. Scorsese’s passion for the artform is palpable when he speaks, yet unlike so many beginning Film Studies professors, Scorsese makes even the historical evolution of the medium fascinating. As proof, we offer you this presentation from the Raging Bull filmmaker from the 2013 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, presented by Scorsese himself back on April 1 at the Kennedy for the Performing Arts. Scorsese’s discussion, entitled “Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema”, is an hour-long breakdown of the history and magic of movies as only the filmmaker can present it. The speech contains not only historical facts about the evolution of cinema as an artform (including the observation that it really doesn’t matter who started cinema — because “all beginnings are unfathomable”), but also some very personal observations from Scorsese’s own life revealing how his love for the movies blossomed from early childhood.
The multimedia presentation is as interesting as one would expect, with Scorsese working in still images and scenes from films to help make his points. The opening features a sequence from 1950’s The Magic Box that seems perfectly fitted to the topic at hand. It’s not all history, though – Scorsese gets technical too, showing how image restoration works to make less than pristine prints of movies look new again while explaining things like auteur theory. It’s like a master class in cinema – and it’ll only take up an hour of your time! Check out the video here. If you’re a fan of Scorsese or just interested in the evolution of one of the world’s greatest artforms, this is essential viewing. Oh, and if you want to skip the preamble, Scorsese’s actual presentation starts at around the 23-minute mark. —Mike Bracken
The essential documentaries on Martin Scorsese, including The Scorsese Machine (1990), A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995), American Masters: Martin Scorsese Directs (1990), A Decade Under the Influence (2003), Italianamerican (1974), American Boy: A Profile of: Steven Prince (Martin Scorsese, 1978), Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (2007), and The Real Goodfella (2006).
Jimi Hendrix “Somewhere” from the new album “People, Hell and Angels” There’s been so many shitty Jimi releases over the years. This one is different. Every track feels finished - not some half baked studio idea from yesteryear. The mixing is thick and rich. This is a PROPER Jimi album that deserves to stand beside his official catalogue.