Since its first appearance not too long ago, I have really enjoyed the American Express advert from the series entitled My Life and featuring movie legend Robert De Niro.
While this spot, Tribeca, includes De Niro identifying memorable parts of his home New York City as "my east," "my west" and "my west-side," some people are in an uproar about the depiction of the World Trade Center grounds and memorial site as the caption "my sorrow" is spoken. Those angered by the spot feel it was a use of the dramatic and unfortunate events and memories of 11 September 2001 in a poor manner; that of promoting a product.
Others however counter with the fact that De Niro has been one of the most outspoken famous New York City residents in support of those who perished that day. Additionally, they point out that American Express has been a generous contributor to De Niro's own Tribeca Film Festival, featured near the end of the spot.
Directed by film veteran Martin Scorsese (briefly visible in some versions as De Niro states "my oldest friend"), who I was disappointed did not receive an Oscar® last night for his direction of The Aviator, this commercial is warm, thoughtful and touching. Even more so, I am mesmerised by the Philip Glass adaptation of String Quartet No.3 (Mishima) 1957. Although the alternate version performed on the Kronos Quartet performs Philip Glass album is in its own right soothingly provocative, I believe the cut featured is a new performance recorded specifically for this work. This new version is my favourite.
Thanks to my friend Matt, I have in my possession a DVD recording of the Academy Awards® show during which the extended cut of Tribeca is broadcast. I am going to attempt to rip the audio and video from this copy so that I may post a higher quality rendition here (UPDATE: Sorry, it did not work). In the meantime, check out the linkage below to learn more about the spots, the criticism and for an MP3 of the advert's recording of Mishima.
My Life series by American Express
Windows Media/Quicktime/Real, 56 Kbps/100 Kbps/300 Kbps
www.mylifemycard.com (link defunct)
Tribeca, extended version
Windows Media Player File, 2.28 Mb
Windows Media, 300 Kbps
Based on String Quartet No.3 (Mishima) 1957 by Philip Glass
MP3 Audio, 0.504 Mb, 1:04
64 Kbps, 44 KHz
The Reviews and Criticism
UPDATE: Monday, 05 February 2007, 2046
If you enjoyed this article, you should read "The Glass Master."
Photo Credit: Allan Tannenbaum