Scorsese at NYU

This year, Scorsese was the Graduation speaker for the Tisch School of the Arts at the Salute.

Many of my classmates graduated this year and heard him speak live, but I just watched this last week thanks to this tweet.

The style is casual, but it’s an inspiring speech. He talks about the highs, the joys, finding inspiration, but where he really focuses is on how to keep doing it, on enjoying the process, the act of creating, on embracing the struggle.

A few lines really stood out for me:

  • The force of disappointment can be alchemized into something that will, paradoxically, renew you.
  • You have to be singular, inflexible, unyielding in your own work so that even the struggle, the very struggle to achieve, becomes its own reward.
  • The hard, simple, ability to continue is a kind of blessing.


Le Voyage dans la Lune

Air: Moon Rock on Nowness.com.

French ambient electronica band Air impart a cosmic touch to the newly restored color edition of George Méliès’ iconic 1902 film Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon). Technically innovative at the time, Méliès’ masterpiece pioneered the use of trompe l’oeil objects, papier-mâché props and double-exposure to tell the first science fiction tale in cinema.

When you look at Méliès’ work, there is so much joy despite the incredible effort involved. The best parts of Scorsese’s Hugo had to with Méliès – a salute to a pioneer.

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Two In The Wave

Two In The Wave

A delightful documentary about Truffaut and Goddard and their relationship over the course of their careers. Using archival footage, the film also highlights their relationship with Jean-Pierre Léaud. My one big issue with it is the level of detail this film goes into. It’s like the Cliff Notes version of the world at that time when what you actually crave is the full, 25-volume version with footnotes attached.

Definitely go see this movie if you are in any way connected to film. It will inspire any writer/director – incredible how much these men achieved at such a young age and how they changed the course of our world. But be aware that it is merely a taste of things, not a fulfilling meal.

Director: Emmanuel Laurent
Genre: Documentary
[rating: 7/10]

Battleship Potemkin

The Battleship Potemkin

The Battleship Potemkin

Watch this film for the Odessa steps sequence – it is stunning, disturbing and consuming. Watch it for the camera placement and how the tension builds. A must-see for film students, it is the first real use of montage in film making. You can learn something new each time you watch this brilliant sequence.

The film is based on the crew rebellion on the Russian battleship in 1905 and while the rest of the film is okay, it’s not at the same level as the fictional Odessa sequence.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein
Genre: Drama (Silent)
[rating: 7/10]

How to steal a million

How to Steal a Million

How to Steal a Million

This is a brilliant, witty, feel-good movie that’s deftly directed. I try to watch this movie once each year to laugh and sigh and smile. Like reading an old, familiar, happy book, this movie brings joy, peace and comfort. Audrey Hepburn is at her charming, gamine best. Peter O’Toole is his suave, dashing, debonair self. And the whole movie is just a pure delight to watch.

Director: William Wyler
Genre: Comedy (Romantic)
[rating: 9/10]