Scorsese’s influences in Boogie Nights

Jorge Luengo Ruiz pits Boogie Nights against a slew of Scorsese movies in a video essay that makes great use of the side-by-side technique. He reveals the many ways in which Paul Thomas Anderson’s adult movie epic is infused with Scorsese’s trademark style.


Some of the parallels he lays bare are merely iconographic. Close shots of cocaine snorting or flash photography are a staple of many movies, not just Scorsese’s. And most scenes set in an all-night convenience store would bear some semblance to the one in Boogie Nights. But even these skin-deep similitudes reveal a shared fascination for certain aspects of the American (cultural) experience.


This video essay is strongest when it traces the stylistic similarities between Anderson’s sophomore effort and Scorsese’s filmography. The way the Copacabana long take from Goodfellas is echoed in Boogie Nights‘ opening shot or the extensive use of whip pans: these analogies are most striking.


Jorge Luengo Ruiz’ video essay puts its finger on parallels in style, but it touches on another analogy as well. This montage also illustrates how young Paul Thomas Anderson’s ambition rivaled that of his famous predecessor Scorsese.