Paul Newman and Robert Redford pair as another couple of aces in this sleek, stylish portrait of a fantastical Depression Era Chicago in which grifters and gamblers run amok making their way the only way they know how. The Sting is a textbook example of great screenwriting, with a meticulously crafted narrative brimming with colorful characters and satisfying twists, you can’t help but be enraptured by its carefully plotting and sensational sleight of hand. The film is a brilliant testimony to the nature of artifice as a form of trickery, swapping out the standard facade of technical wizardry for cleverly incorporated narrative subversion. It’s all backed by a lush setting and intoxicating style, set to the sounds of an anachronistic Ragtime score that intentionally operates nondiegetically to immerse us in its beguilingly faux world. We start the show off with a lengthy discussion of the rock/jazz-infused band Steely Dan, as promised last week, working off the in-depth deconstruction of their 1977 album Aja from the Classic Albums documentary series, running through what makes the band so unique and our favorite tracks and albums they’ve bestowed us with. All of this and more from your independent resource on classic and contemporary cinema.
0:00 Steely Dan Mega Discussion and Ranking
49:00 The Sting
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