Steve Buscemi has worked with some of the best directors in the world: the Coen brothers, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and more. It’s no wonder that he displays impressive range as a director, helming a variety of shows like 30 Rock, Nurse Jackie, OZ, four feature films, and four episodes of The Sopranos (which is available to stream on HBO Now).
You may have forgotten that Buscemi directed that many hours of the show, with many only remembering his role as Tony Blundetto in the series. During his time behind the camera, though, Buscemi proved that he’s more than just an actor, with a keen eye and the ability to deliver some of the series’ most revered moments. Here’s a look back at the four episodes that Steve Buscemi directed.
“Pine Barrens” (2001)
“Pine Barrens” is one of the more famous episodes in The Sopranos primarily because large portions of it could work almost as well as a standalone narrative. Essentially, Paulie (Tony Sirico) and Christopher (Michael Imperioli) chase a Russian associate through the woods when their attempt at an execution fails and wind up out of their element in the frigid and unforgiving elements.
Buscemi keeps a tight two-shot control over his subjects, the journey through the snowy Barrens maintaining an ethereal quality with slow dissolves showing the passage of time. When the pair become stranded in a car, hungry and freezing, they briefly turn on each other before Tony and Bobby come to their rescue. It’s a fine hour of television and stands as one of the series’ best episodes.