There Are A Lot Of Great "Video Essays" About Movies Out There, But This One's Especially Fine

This is one of the better video essays I've seen in recent months. The fact that its subject, Tomas Alfredson's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, is a stylish and twisty film certainly doesn't hurt our essayist; there's more than enough meat on this one's bones (which is currently streaming on NETFLIX INSTANT, if you're curious) to justify any number of analytical essays. But Michael McLennan does a particularly nice job here. I especially love the split-screen work that allows us to see similarities between scenes that might otherwise occur too far apart to be noticed. And I especially enjoy the fact that he's emphasizing the eyes, which (as the great John Ford once famously said) is the very essence of directing.

Anybody can direct a picture once they know the fundamentals. Directing is not a mystery, it's not an art. The main thing about directing is to photograph the people's eyes.

Definite SPOILERS! for those who have not yet seen the film -- currently streaming on NETFLIX INSTANT, remember? -- and a bit of violence, as well. It's a film for adults, definitely, though not so much because of the violence and the spoilers as because the very details McLennan's highlighting require a good bit of cinematic experience to notice (and to appreciate). High-level storytelling.

Attribution(s): Video and images and stills belong to some combination of Michael McLennan and Focus Features and other respective production studios and distributors.