Exercise 1: Martin Scorsese Critique
Watch this famous scene ‘ The Long Take’ from Goodfellas directed by Martin Scorsese in 1990: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJEEVtqXdK8 Don’t read on until you’ve answered the following questions.
1. What does this scene tell you about the main character?
2. How does it do this? List the ‘clues’.
It tells us that he is a mover and shaker,that he has a level of respect that smooths his way into the nightclub. The clues include:
He doesn’t queue up but goes in the back entrance-no one challenges him
People recognise him and move out of his way
he knows people’s first names and exchanges bits of banter with them
When he arrives at the nightclub they make a table for him at the front
Someone sends home over a bottle of champagne
He greases palms along the way dropping $20 tips
The general ambience is one of semi-darkness punctuated by scenes from very busy kitchens, somehow there is an air of danger.
One example is Jeff Wall. Do some research online into Wall’s exhibition at the Tate Modern, 2005.
Jeffrey Wall, OC, RSA (born September 29, 1946) is a Canadian artist best known for his large-scale back-lit Cibachrome photographs and art history writing. Early in his career, he helped define the Vancouver School and he has published essays on the work of his colleagues and fellow Vancouverites Rodney Graham, Ken Lum, and Ian Wallace. His photographic tableaux often take Vancouver’s mixture of natural beauty, urban decay, and postmodern and industrial featurelessness as their backdrop.Wikipedia
Jeff Wall is best known for large image compositions mounted on light boxes giving his images a transparent feel with associations to the cinema and art. Many of his images are tableaux images composed of constructed scenes and have been described as
a myriad of references from art history, particularly nineteenth century painting. His A Picture for Women 1979 directly references Edouard Manet’s Un Bar aux Folies-Bergères whilst the iconic A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai) 1993 pays homage to Hokusai’s exquisite Japanese print. Wall also draws upon cinematic techniques by using actors as protagonists, artificial lighting, staged compositions, and a narrative technique which leads you to contemplate the unseen events leading to the moment depicted. These stunning depictions of urban life tell stories about people, their habitat and the every day yet enigmatic way they interact.https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/jeff-wall (accessed 08/07/2022)
He also utilises methods from cinema, using actors, artificial lighting, creating narratives and ‘constructed’ scenes.