Re: RARA-AVIS: Scorsese on Scorsese

From: E.Borgers (
Date: 16 Dec 2004

I do not know if the documentary you are speaking of is the same I saw already some time ago, wherein Scorsese speaks of his family -and Italian roots- and of some forms of cinema he likes. But this one was a three hours mini series.

On the other hand he's surely one of the greatest modern film noir maker. Taxi Driver (1976) of course, influential by many aspects, innovating, a milestone. Also his Mean Streets (1973), less achieved but bearing already most of Scorsese's best cinema abilities. And then we cannot forget "Goodfellas" (1990), a masterpiece of modern cinema and certainly one of the best films noir ever, a kind of synthesis of Scorcese's HB/noir. On a lesser grade: "Casino"(1995) which belongs also to mob noir and is a very good film. Then "Raging Bull" (1980) a kind of neo-realism noir, not a crime movie, but a fantastic existential film.

I personally regret his "Gangs of N Y", too mainstreamed (Hollywood?), well done but going to nowhere. And, historically, these gangs were far more morbid, cruel and lawless than what is shown, in a NY which was more a lethal jungle than an organized society. But Scorsese made so many astonishingly good films that, in my book, his credit for "turkeys" is still good for another 25 years.

E.Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries

>Yesterday I was able to catch the documentary Scorsese on
>Scorsese on TCM. It's an excellent 90-minute soliloquy by
>Scorsese on his life and films. Hearing him tell his story, I was
>struck by how hardboiled it is and how ultrahardboiled films like
>Mean Streets and Taxi Driver are. Aside from his secure stature
>as a filmmaker, his hardboiled roots and style are relevant to us.
>Call it street-hardboiled, or neorealist criminal soup, he hits hard
>and artlessly (an illusion, of course).
>I highly recommend this documentary. Before it, they had shown
>The Last Waltz, an equally persuasive documentary that I hadn't
>seen since its original release. It looked even better.

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