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Watch: 10-Minute Video Essay Explores The Artistry Of ‘The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford’

Watch: 10-Minute Video Essay Explores The Artistry Of 'The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford'

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” essentially came and went without much notice from the general public upon release in 2007 (the film did receive a handful of raves from critics at the time). But over the subsequent eight years, the movie has cultivated a small but devoted following. Scout Tafoya is one of those devoted followers. He has a video essay series on Vimeo called “The Unloved,” where he analyzes films that were underappreciated at the time of their release. With ‘Jesse James,’ Tafoya expounds on the strong impression the film has made on him and how the the film’s devotees eerily mirror the cult left behind by the real Jesse James.

READ MORE: ‘The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford’ Returns To Big Screen For Showing At Museum Of Moving Image

Tafoya touts Roger Deakins’ masterful cinematography, the film’s strong, resonant themes, as well as the subtle ways in which the movie has influenced cinema today —and it’s through these aspects that make ‘Assassination of Jesse James’ worth coming back to time and time again. It’s a passionate look at the movie, so a take a spin through the 10-minute video below.

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Suza Maybury

I also consider the Assination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford , a masterpiece very similar in it’s quietness and beauty to Terrance Malick , I think it is one of Brad pitt’s best performances and heralded him into his serious acting career , the casting was exceptional, Casey Aflech was the best , to me his obsession with Jesse was that of a stalker , Jesse was his Rock star , his wanting to be near him , but never could because of Jesse’s nature and trust in very few , great film, I think Andrew Domink is brilliant , !!!!


This is brilliant. Andrew Dominik’s ‘Chopper’ (2000) is also a truly awesome film worthy of more recognition.


This movie is a) visually beautiful, and b) historically quite accurate (based on a poetically beautiful book that is also quite accurate). It’s the next best thing to time travel for getting a feel for life at that place and time. By contrast, the 1967 movie about Bonnie and Clyde, though visually striking, strayed far from historic accuracy in many ways (which is a shame since the real story had a much better dramatic arc). Casey Affleck knocked it out of the park here, and the other performances were perfect. This movie deserves a far larger cult following and should have been lauded more at the time of its release.


Thank you!


This truly is a masterpiece and has become one of my favourite films (and my favourite western) of all time. @OSARO, I cannot agree with your comments more. Affleck and Pitt have never been better


I rarely watch these 10 minute essay video’s but for this special movie i made an exception, i remember seeing the trailer for this film in early 2007 and being Intrigued instantly i was lucky enough to see the assassination of Jesse James at the cinema i will never forget that experience i was taken by the cinematography by Roger Deakins,it was like an oil painting coming to life this movie,the scene were jesse james emerges from the smoke before the train robbery is one of the most beautiful shots i have ever seen in a movie, the performances are simply fantastic there is a lingering sadness,loneliness,anger and regret and the intrigue to mortality that hangs from Brad Pitts performance as Jesse James that is compelling to watch,Casey Affleck has yet to top his performance here it is his finest to date and a special mention has to go to Sam Rockwell who should have got acclaim for his performance in this movie the look he gives bob and the audience after their reenactment of their assassination of Jesse when bob gets into a fight with a few audience members still haunts me to this day,as time goes by it is clear this film we be ranked as a Towering masterpiece,and my long comment about this film seems very appropriate since we are talking about this long movie an very long titled The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.

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