Projecting: Martin Scorsese, Kevin Smith, Superhero Film Militarization, Phoebe Buffay Feminist



Editor’s Note: Projecting features a selection of great film and television focused writing from around the internet.

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Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert profile Martin Scorsese in their introduction to a career retrospective, for Reverse Shot:

But the question of what we think of when we think of Scorsese is a much larger, confusing one. Once he was seen, reductively but not inaptly, as the preeminent chronicler of Italian-American Catholic guilt. Now that seems merely a starting point. Of late, his work as a preservationist and as an all-purpose guru for the legacy of world cinema itself—his 1981 campaign against the looming issue of fading color stock, which got the attention of Eastman Kodak; his heroic World Cinema Foundation, which rescues and preserves films from around the world; his various documentaries charting his personal journeys through film, which make him something like American cinema’s more scholarly, less radical Jean-Luc Godard—has somewhat overshadowed his directorial career.


Sean Burns and Jake Mulligan discuss the many films and changes in the career of Kevin Smith, for Movie Mezzanine:

Of course, as your look-at-the-walkouts memories prove, what really shook people in Clerks was the script. I think there’s more going on there than just filthy words, too. The film is acidic, astute, and above all else, deeply aware of its own smallness, and of the smallness of its characters’ aims. Randall is our id, always making snap judgments, causing break-ups, searching out sex—he’s a selfish pleasure drone. Dante is the ego: He’s just as much of an unambitious pleasure-seeker (the cheating, the cutting-work-to-go-play-hockey thing), but he knows how to present his laconic misbehavior in a slightly more socially acceptable manner.


Noah Gittell looks at the new Batmobile and the gradual militarization of the superhero movie, for Film School Rejects:

We all remember the outcry from fans when Snyder had Superman kill General Zod in that movie’s climax, and it appears that Snyder is doubling down on the violence, despite that criticism.

But it is unfair to lay all this at Snyder’s feet. There has been an increasing militarization of our superheroes afoot for decades, and Snyder is only continuing that tradition. In the Marvel world, superheroes perpetually exist in a military milieu. Tony Stark is a reformed defense contractor, while The Avengers was essentially about a Special Forces unit that prevented another 9/11.


Olivia Armstrong explains how Phoebe Buffay was the epitome of feminist self-actualization, for Decider:

Phoebe Buffay, the eccentric friend of Friends, may not have been as “out there” as we were led to believe. Sure, she was quirky and inappropriate at times, especially if it involved playing her acoustic guitar in public places, but there was certainly more behind her dumb blonde façade. Phoebe Buffay might have fooled the friends and the rest of the world back in the ’90s, but 20 years later it’s clear that Phoebe was, in fact, a role model for achieving self-actualization.


About Author

Derek was the only engineer at Northeastern University taking a class on German film and turning a sociology research paper into an examination of Scorsese’s work. Now in Austin, TX, he blatantly abuses his Netflix account on the reg, although his List mocks him as it proudly sits healthily above 200. He continues to fight the stigma that being good at math means you are not any no good at writing. I good write, very much.