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“Doesn’t your work mean anything to you anymore? Have you no sense of pride in what you do? No sense of duty?!?”
Though this line comes is taken from the character Big Boy Caprice trying to rouse his boys into killing Dick Tracy, it’s as if it were the anti-advice given to digital filmmaker and video essayist Nelson Carvajal, who crossed off one of the items on my bucket list by compiling a collection of Al Pacino’s loudest and most vein-laden film scenes as a video essay for Indiewire titled “Al Pacino: Full Roar.”
There are hundreds of cinematic tropes that make for interesting montages, such as people getting hit by buses, Arnold Schwarzenegger saying big words and Woody Allen stammering - and those are only the ones made this year. But none of those, and probably nothing else in film history, can top Pacino when he is in his zone. In fact, whenever other actors have their own half-dictating/half-yelling scenes in movies, it’s been scientifically proven that they’re in an intensified state of reality known simply as “the Pacino zone.” (This is not scientific fact.)
One of the most astounding things you’ll notice is that the video is only 6:19 long, and that at least 40 seconds of it is just credits and a quote from Robin Williams. The second thing is that this 6 minute scene isn’t just six random minutes from the last third of The Devil’s Advocate, even though that devilish speech does appear. How funny that it begins with a Shakespearean role, which is just the sort of theatrical approach Pacino brings to even the most minimal roles in independent features. It’s a testament to his legacy just how different he looks in these films, from the slender everyman screaming “Attica!” at the crowds to the haggard coach of Any Given Sunday to Phil Spector.
My favorite clip comes courtesy of Gigli, because it’s one of the only ones shown here that works best as a lone clip without needed (or wanting) to see the entire feature, and it’s completely ludicrous. What are some of your favorites?