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.