Monday, May 19, 2008

Why I Will Burn My Entire Scorsese Movie Collection

Watch the commercial and then read my commentary.

I saw this commercial last week in New York at an advertising award show. It was featured as one of the best commercials of last year. As I watched it, I was in complete awe because of what I thought it was doing - and that is trying to promote film preservation. The commercial is about how Scorsese possesses three and a half pages of an unfinished Hitchcock script. The idea up front is that instead of preserving films that have already been made, Scorsese is going to preserve this script by shooting it the way Hitchcock would. As an idea for film preservation, it's incredible. As I watched the spot, my mind was blowing because I thought this was the greatest idea ever. Not for one second did I think that this commercial was not 100% legit. Well, look at me. The guy who's in the biz and who should know better getting played like a sucker. The spot wasn't for film preservation. It was for Freixenet Sparkling Wines. Goddamn sparkling wines. The kind of shit that my 90 year old aunt drinks because it's "yummy." Directed and acted by one of our greatest directors ever. To me, this commercial represents all that is ugly with advertising. Not having an ounce of respect for anything as long as it helps peddle a product. It makes a mockery of film preservation and makes a whore of Scorsese.

As an homage to Hitchcock, this commercial is great fun, drawing on classic framing, camera movements and musical scores. As a progressive idea for film preservation, this commercial is fantastic, really taking a new approach to highlight how important film preservation can be. As a commercial for frickin sparkling wine as shot by Martin Scorsese, it sucks. Most of the blame falls squarely on Scorsese here because he knew what he was signing up for. There are plenty of bad ideas out there and what keeps the good people respectable is their ability to pick and choose and to stay far, far away from the stinkers. This was a terrible mistake on behalf of Scorsese and honestly it's soiled me a bit on the guy.


Anonymous said...

fucking bastard!

Anonymous said...

I think Pipes is burnt because he was fooled.

I thought the homage to Hitchcock was dead-on. I like the fact that as a viewer, you don't know it's for this crap sparkle until the end. Otherwise, I would have stopped watching early on.

I still wouldn't buy the shit so I guess it ultimately fails for me.

TALKING MOVIEzzz said...

I don't know, Piper. I thought it worked.

It isn't a blatant shilling of the product. If I didn't read your comments before I saw it, I doubt I would have even paid attention to the wine.

So was the whole premise for real? Were those actually Hitchcock pages? There was no "written by" credit at the end.

But where would a ten minute ad like that play?

Scorsese has been known to be a whore for good reason. He did those Amex ads for film preservation.

I can see this more as he had an idea to do a Hitchcock homage and then found a company to sponsor it.

My Scorsese collection is still safe.

PIPER said...


No actual Alfred Hitchcock script. Nothing to really do with film preservation that I know of.

That's my beef with it. If it hadn't set itself up as a great idea for film preservation, I would have been fine with it.

And of course my Scorsese collection is still safe. I just really like provocative headlines.

By the way, Anonymous is Brian. He sat right beside me when we first saw it.

Fox said...

I haven't watched the clip yet cuz my work blocks YouTube, but if you decide that you DO wanna "burn your collection", e-mail me first about a possible firesale! :)

Anonymous said...

It's well done.

They only need to sell 5,000,000 cases of the grape shit to pay for that movie.

Emily Blake said...

I dunno. Maybe instead of thinking of it as bringing down film, we should think of it as elevating advertising.

It worked and was entertaining and well made, so good on them.

Megan said...

I like it.

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