Monday, 26 May 2014

L.J. SPENCE'S STARTING POINTS: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET [2]

L.J. SPENCE'S STARTING POINTS

26. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013, dir. Martin Scorcese)

26/05/2014


Yes, I have covered "The Wolf of Wall Street" before - it was the sixteenth of these entries, for anyone that may actually be following - but I was presented with an interesting situation upon the blu-ray release of the film a week ago.

I previously wrote about how the film has been accused of lacking a moral centre, and that it is the job of the audience to being theirs to the cinema with them. I, therefore, felt I was watching an exhilarating, hilarious, but chauvinistic fantasy that existed to annoy me. Others may have thought it aspirational, but I don't personally know anyone who would come to that conclusion.

However, my experience was based on meeting the film on its own terms - in a dark cinema, with all other vision and sound blocked out. Buying the blu-ray copy and taking it home was still an extension of the control it continued to have, but once it was playing on my television, "The Wolf of Wall Street" had been sufficiently cut down to size. I could cut the three-hour spectacle down to manageable chapters, take a toilet break without missing anything, and replay certain sections to make sure I fully understood what was going on before I was happy to continue. 

Cinema dictates the surroundings in which it can be experienced. Take it away, and any film will suffer in the distractions of normal life. This film's initial allure was completely broken without me needing to exert any moral or intellectual rigour on it this time around. 

Taking it to the nth degree, and on to the screen of a smartphone, and you may as well not bother - the most-watched YouTube videos are under a minute, as a good idea doesn't need longer to express, but any more requires more attention than may be possible if you are walking down a street, or on the bus - a three-hour slab of Martin Scorcese will be impossible in the same conditions, so it is best to create your own cinema at home, sit down and, in the case of "The Wolf of Wall Street," still not be taken in by it.

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