Watch Martin Scorsese and Ebert give this Coen Brothers classic two thumbs up.
As movie fans go, they don't get much bigger or more knowledgable than Martin Scorsese and the late, great film critic Roger Ebert. And, 23 years ago, the two paired up to talk about one of our favorite movies ever, Fargo.
This classic Coen Brothers film, and Oscar-winning hit, only gets better with age – as does this clip of Scorsese and Ebert discussing the film's many qualities. Thanks to Eyes on Cinema, the clip of Scorsese playing Siskel opposite Ebert has been making the rounds on Film Twitter and it provides both a nostalgic and necessary perspective on not just the film, but on film criticism in general. Currently, most online critics falsely (and ridiculously) accused of being on "Insert Studio Here's" payroll to give positive or negative reviews to movies by the loud echo chamber that is a minority of fans on the internet, film criticism has become a lost art. Reviews used to be an opportunity for discourse, a chance to communicate with fans an analysis of the thing of which they are a fan. Watch it below:
It's all but unheard of now to have a filmmaker of Scorsese's level engage with a critic in the manner in which we see here in the clip. Before movies were put in the problematic Rotten Tomatoes crucible, and defined by whatever formula is used to calculate their worth, adults had, you know, adult conversations in place of Tomatometer-friendly summaries.
To watch Scorsese laugh with Ebert, and give as good as he gets when it comes to talking points, is refreshing and inspiring. The takeaway here is to view this video as a "how to" in terms of conducting yourself as both a filmmaker and a fan. Filmmakers are film watches, too. If your career allows you to achieve a version of the notoriety Scorsese has, then please consider using that privilege to give back to the medium that helped you acquire it in the first place. Help erase the "film critics bad" stigma that infects so much of our online discourse and, well, just be two film fans in a room talking about the things you love.