Monthly Archives: February 2018

Fifteen Years Hence: Gangs of New York

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The title was more amusing in its original “Twenty Fifteen Sixteen Years Hence incarnation, but I can’t do strike-throughs in titles, so it loses any semblance of me making fun of my late posts and my willingness to bend my review-series frameworks to fit whatever review I want to write. Anyway, that’s not as clever in reality as it is in my head, so I suppose just enjoy the review!

Obviously enlivened by the possibility of animating the fledgling, wild-west days of his beloved native New York, I’m rather certain that the sense of possibility Gangs of New York affords director Martin Scorsese is as much albatross as boon. What in the world to make of it? I certainly do not know, except to note that Scorsese, having gestated this project for 25 years, is clearly delirious to be giving mid-1800’s pre-pre-pre-pre-Koch New York a stylistic workout. But his zeal has gotten the best of his reason in this particular picture. And, more importantly, his vision. Or lack of vision. Or, more accurately his (very) many, many visions, and the appeal of the film will largely relate to how satisfying you find its uniquely confused dialectic between multiple competing strands of New York, between the many valence this particular city holds in both Scorsese’s and the world’s imagination-space.

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