“The Organization of Misery”: How the Safdie Brothers Have Reimagined the Scorsese Crime Thriller
'Good Time' and 'Uncut Gems' marks a refreshing revival of Scorsese’s subversive tendencies, while also observing how they are offering a vivid new beginning in the crime thriller genre.
by Matthew Walker
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A voyeuristic long telephoto lens tracks a man down a New York City street. Behind him, partially lit shop windows and closed shutters etch out his figure, while vehicles disguise him momentarily from the camera. His gaze is off-screen; he flows with the fast-paced city life. This description may bring to mind the relentless actions of Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman) in The French Connection, the dissatisfied struggles of small-time gangster, Charlie (Harvey Keitel), in Mean Streets, or the moment Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) confronts the brothel pimp in Taxi Driver. At the same time, one may be reminded of the adrenaline-junkie, Howard (Adam Sandler), from Uncut Gems (2019)as he rushes to cover his bases along the abyss of a New York that is ready to swallow him whole.
It is no secre…
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