The Thinking Machine 2

Decisions, Decisions

Adrian Martin and Cristina Álvarez López reflect on the art of filmmaking in monthly video essays. This month: two men, both alone in a room.

The scene: a man alone in a room. Within himself, he makes a decision that will signal a key turning point in the narrative of a movie. How does a director conceive, stage and edit such a difficult scene, with its interior thought processes, and its crucial role in the resolution of the story? Our audiovisual essay compares a positive example, Robert Rossen’s The Hustler (1961), with the negative example of Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight (2014). What decisions, wise or unwise, did these filmmakers make?