Anatomy of a Scene from ”Attica”


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In this powerful Anatomy of a Scene featurette, “Attica” director Stanley Nelson, recently awarded the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary, focuses on a climactic sequence near the end of the Oscar-nominated film. Stanley takes us inside the prison yard at Attica after authorities have re-taken control of the yard and proceed to systematically humiliate, torture, and exact revenge against the prisoners and their leaders. He discusses the thinking behind individual shot selection, the impact of having the composer write one continuous piece of music in different movements, when to use talking heads vs. voice over and the potentially controversial decision not to blur photos or only show prisoners from the waist up when they are paraded completely nude through the prison grounds.

Note: We recommend that, if possible, you follow along with us. The scene takes place from 1:41:13 – 1:46:47, timed from the beginning of the movie. “Attica” is available for streaming on Showtime and on Amazon Prime.

To listen to our previous discussion with Stanley about Attica.

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