Thanks to the Internet, both short film and the artistry of advertising has been celebrated more than ever. Video sharing is a huge part of our culture now, and sometimes it’s not all silly home movies or scripted sketches that are being passed around. Still, shorts could be more respected within the whole of cinema and commercials shouldn’t be such a large part of what we’re being entertained by. I’ll make an exception on the latter, however, when it’s beneficial to the former. Especially if Martin Scorsese is the one handling them. A few years ago, I recognized a Hitchcock-mimicking ad for Freixenet by Scorsese as one of the best shorts of 2007. Now he’s potentially going to deliver one of the best of 2015 in something called The Audition, which promotes a new casino resort in Macau, China.
This time Scorsese has some help to up the prestige and more blur the lines between advertisement and legitimate film release. Robert De Niro, who was once the director’s primary leading man, appearing in eight of his movies, and Leonardo DiCapro, who is the more recent favorite with five collaborations, are appearing together for the first time in a Scorsese project (they appeared together in This Boy’s Life and Marvin’s Room in the ’90s, when DiCaprio was young and neither had a connection to Scorsese). The gimmick is also the joke, as they play themselves in the short, made to compete for the lead in the next Scorsese feature. Brad Pitt is also in the film, his first time acting for the director (he was a producer on Scorsese’s The Departed). My guess is that he winds up being cast in the role over the other two.
Where will you be able to see this film, which is scripted by The Wolf of Wall Street writer Terence Winter and produced by Brett Ratner? Maybe online at some point, but if you’re interested in seeing this particular Scorsese effort on the big screen you’ll likely have to head to Macau, where it’ll screen at the resort for its opening later this year. That’d be cool if you could do it, and while you’re there also catch their exclusive virtual reality superhero attraction, “Batman Dark Flight.” But it would also be cool if they could bring The Audition to cinemas in the US, where depending on its length might be able to play on its own or ahead of other shows. Ratner has acknowledged that it’s a “historic event” and promises an “important cinematic experience,” which I think calls for a big-screen cinematic viewing.
For now, check out two trailers for The Audition, which are both also ads for casino resorts. The first one is hawking the already existing City of Dreams in Manila, and the other promotes Studio City, which is the new Macau spot. They’re nearly identical and only the latter offers a tease of Pitt.
At the request of the Copyright holder, these videos have been removed.