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Watch: 30-Minute Video Essay Explores the Structure and Style of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

Written by on November 12, 2014 


With many reviews of The Wolf of Wall Street praising Martin Scorsese‘s vigorous direction (including our own), today brings a video essay that precisely displays the formal craft at work when it comes to the three-hour epic. Lessons of the Wolf, an excellent 30-minute video essay from Milad Tangshir, dives into different aspects of the film, from the narration to the style to the themes.

Interspersed with related clips to Scorsese’s own films, there’s also influences from Citizen Kane, Psycho, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and more on display. Highlighted early on is the five-act structure (instead of the usual three) in between the prologue and the epilogue: the setup, the complicating action, the development section, the second complicating action, and the climax. The essay also dives into the use of long takes, falsity of the images presented, why the controversial film is more relatable than one might think, and much more.

As we look forward to Scorsese kicking off production on his next feature, Silence, this January, check out the video essay below and for more on the film, listen to our in-depth discussion here.

What did you take away from the video essay?

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