As Matt Damon's character in The Departed says in voice over at the start of this clip, "This is going to be fucking fun." That's because today we have for you a very special Stanley Kubrick vs. Martin Scorsese mixtape, and yes, this seven minute "homage" to two of the most badass directors ever is as fun as it gets. Watch below:
The Vimeo edit was created by Brazilian movie fan Leandro Copperfield, who adds in the video description that the title isn't meant to suggest a mano e mano smack down between two of cinema's greatest talents, but that what's being presented is a loving splicing. Copperfield picked 500 scenes from a total of 34 films to completely the montage, including lots of footage from the biggies, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Taxi Driver, Eyes Wide Shut, The Shining, Gangs of New York, and The Departed. But there are also some really great moments from movies that don't get nearly enough exposure, like Scorsese's Kundun and Kubrick's 1957 groundbreaker, Paths of Glory (those tracking shots!).
The music muscle starting up this video is provided by the badass "I'm Shipping Up to Boston," by the Dropkick Murphys, which sounds surprisingly awesome paired with shots of the Dead Rabbits vs. The Natives in a battlefield of freshly fallen New York snow in Gangs o New York (even though the song is best known from its repeated use in the Oscar-winning The Departed). We also get some seductive moves via Eyes Wide Shut and others to Chris Issak's "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" (which was part of the original soundtrack) and "Nude" by Radiohead (which wasn't).
Really bringing the works of Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick are some great match cuts at either end of the video. At the 2:26 mark, the mash up of Peter Sellers' US President in Dr. Strangelove with Joe Pesci's Goodfellas character is rather perfect. We also love the split screen at 7:07, where we see Kubrick's famous 2001 ape bone going up against Gangs of New York's tossed butcher knife. Pushing Scorsese up against Kubrick like this makes us wonder what a fantasy collaborative effort between the two filmmakers would have looked like.
There are also moments when this short, well made fan edit you'll realize the breadth of both directors. It's all of the little moments like, "Oh yeah, Kubrick directed Spartacus" and "I forgot about Scorsese's butterfly wing delicacy in The Age of Innocence..." Neither one of those films looks very much at home in the library of bare knuckled brutishness, lasciviousness, and insidiously implied violence that we see in clips from titles like Eyes Wide Shut , The Departed, The Shining, and Taxi Driver.
There's no doubt about the kickassery on display here from two of film's biggest bad ass geniuses. What is surprisingly on display here, though, is the sheer, physical beauty of their images. Jake La Motta jumping up and down in his gladatorial ring is beautiful. The crazy cowboy riding Armageddon down to its inevitable conclusion in Dr. Strangelove is beautiful. Sue Lyon in her deadly Lolita suburban lawn bathing suit and raffia hat is beautiful. The battlefields of Barry Lyndon are beautiful. Even the blood filling the Overlook's lobby in The Shining in slow motion is honestly and breathtakingly beautiful.
Although Copperfield doesn't want us to pick a winner, it's natural to stack up points. Kubrick's cerebral silences and deadly wit vs. Scorsese's balls-in-your-face grit. But after watching the edit, there's no clear smack down victor here. Pairing these directors for seven plus minutes of film classic cuts jumps our movie hormones up a notch. It's like those homage splicings at the Oscars when we see an entire life's work of a single director in two minutes. Just seeing the visual and visceral brilliance on display--even for so short a time, or maybe because of it--makes one really understand what can be truly powerful about cinema.
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