What Milad Tangshir has done with this extremely well-researched and well-edited video essay on Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is actually several things. On the most basic level, he has broken down one of Scorsese’s best films of recent years into its components: a tightly structured plot; nuanced narration; camera techniques which allow us to inhabit the transformation at the heart of the movie. On another level, Tangshir places the film within the context of Scorsese’s other films, most directly Raging Bull and Mean Streets, showing us how, in films externally quite different from this one, Scorsese’s mind manifests in the way the film is pieced together, and is consistent. And on still another level, the piece shows how this film can be linked to other similar films from throughout film history, from Citizen Kane forwards. The essay might help diehard fans of Scorsese and his work renew their appreciation for Wolf–and it might help the many people who found the film bothersome appreciate the method at the heart of what is a maelstrom of satirical, Satyricon-worthy madness. Tangshir shows us Jordan Belfort’s ecstacy and his tragicomic decline in equal measure, taking us on a frightening ride through what Scorsese intimates, in one of the interview clips presented here, is our collective mind.
Watch: A Video Essay on the Structural Beauty of Martin Scorsese’s THE WOLF OF WALL STREET