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FBG Movie Club: DotM: Martin Scorsese (1 Viewer)

Oh and had a coffee and watched ItalianAmerican this morning. For some reason, I thought it was more recently done. What a beautiful time capsule of 1974. I wish I had something like that for my parents and grandparents. Though since it was not my own blood, I did get distracted several times watching it. More interesting than a standard home movie obviously but not that much.
 
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King of New York (1990)

Abel Ferrara has acknowledged Scorsese as one of his main influences. His personal origin story lists a day at the movies watching Mean Streets and Bertolucci's The Conformist back-to-back as one of his formative experiences as a filmmaker. Ferrara's films explore similar genres and balance violence and spirituality like Scorsese's but with a rawer, more direct style--perhaps because his productions have budgetary constraints that Scorsese was able to outgrow early on.

King of New York is one of Ferrara's best-known movies. It's a gangster picture released the same month (Sept 1990) as Goodfellas. King of New York is more grindhouse than arthouse with lots of gunplay and a preposterous car chase. Christopher Walken plays Frank White, a NYC crime lord with a rather selective conscience. There's no voiceover to explain the details of his criminal enterprise; it's just a given that White is a powerful underworld figure. Walken gives a strong performance than leans into the eccentricities of his character. He even gets to dance a couple of times. The supporting cast is excellent as well including Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, Steve Buscemi and Theresa Randle as members of his gang and David Caruso and Wesley Snipes as cops. Fishburne (billed here as Larry) gives a particularly unhinged performance as White's primary muscle.

In spite of a budget that was about one tenth of Goodfellas, King of New York is a good looking film with lots of NYC exteriors shot with an icy blue palette. It's leaner and meaner than Scorsese's or Coppola's gangster epics. A couple of the narrative transitions are awkward as if Ferrara is hurrying the story along to the next big scene but all in all, it's a very entertaining watch. Now in his 70s, Ferrara continues to be a prolific director with over 40 features and documentaries to his name. He's still working with shoestring budgets but can attract big name actors like Willem Dafoe to participate in his projects. I hope to catch another Ferrara film or two before the end of Marty March.
 
The Roaring Twenties (1938)
This had to be an influence on the Scorsese gangster movies. We've got intrusive narration, tracking shots, an epic scope (though done in a brisk 104 mins). Incredible leads with Cagney and Bogart squaring off. It's easy to see how Scorsese would have loved to get his hands on either of those actors to make them his Pesci and DeNiro. It's close to the artistic pinnacle of the old Warner Brothers gangster movies and highlights the plight of the veterans returning from Europe all while a new World War looms. Where Martin Scorsese might have tapped the most into The Roaring Twenties is for filming the premiere of Boardwalk Empire. All in all, a must see for fans of gangster films.
 
The Roaring Twenties (1938)
This had to be an influence on the Scorsese gangster movies. We've got intrusive narration, tracking shots, an epic scope (though done in a brisk 104 mins). Incredible leads with Cagney and Bogart squaring off. It's easy to see how Scorsese would have loved to get his hands on either of those actors to make them his Pesci and DeNiro. It's close to the artistic pinnacle of the old Warner Brothers gangster movies and highlights the plight of the veterans returning from Europe all while a new World War looms. Where Martin Scorsese might have tapped the most into The Roaring Twenties is for filming the premiere of Boardwalk Empire. All in all, a must see for fans of gangster films.

Scorsese is a huge fan of Raoul Walsh who directed The Roaring Twenties. Walsh had a 50 year career as a Hollywood director that spanned from D.W. Griffith to Troy Donohue and Suzanne Pleshette.

Scorsese mentioned a bunch of Walsh's films in that Personal Journey documentary I spotlighted earlier this month. It featured clips from Walsh's 1915 film Regeneration shot on location in the slums of Five Points in New York, an area that Scorsese recreated for Gangs of New York. Scorsese praised Walsh's storytelling skills as a director who helped to define the vocabulary of the medium in his silent and early sound movies. I love his use of montages to show the passage of time through The Roaring Twenties.
 
I need to leave a couple discoveries from these directors who have a lot of films, so I stopped with his movies for the month. I think that only leaves me with New York New York, Bringing out the Dead, and Silence. Not that I expect to have wild changes of heart with these directors, but with Scorsese it didn't seem like my stance was really changing. I think his 70s/80s output is epic and that is where all but 1 of my top 5 of his come from. Wolf of Wall Street is the lone one outside that era that cracks my top 5. I had hoped something from the 90s would stick out more, but I just don't seem to click with that era of his movies much at all. The closest would be Kundun just because I like the topic and pace is a welcome break from some of his other movies. Of his later stuff, I get the impression I like Hugo more than most.

What I have been enjoying a lot is watching interviews with him and reading his takes on older movies, so I wanted to try to leave the rest of the month for Marty the ambassador of movies. Not sure if the copy of My Voyage to Italy will get here from the library (some other nerd has the one copy checked out), but if so I will start watching that. Yesterday I watched a random interview between Ari Aster and Scorsese on the Criterion Channel about The Film Foundation and restoration. Aster is another director I can't seem to stop watching interviews with, and that gave me some ideas to add to the expanding list of stuff I need to watch. I have a bunch written down, but stuff like 8 1/2, Ugetsu, The River, and The Red Shoes are ones I see Scorsese bring up a ton. We will see what I land on in the next 10 days.
 
Life Lessons (1989)

Scorsese directed this as a 40 minute episode in the 1989 anthology New York Stories. Francis Coppola and Woody Allen also filmed a segment but Marty's is the best of the bunch by far. In spite of it's length, it's one of my favorite Scorsese films.

Life Lessons is a portrait of an artist as a middle-aged Nick Nolte. He plays Lionel Dobie, a big name Expressionist painter living and working in a Tribeca loft with his current muse played by Rosanna Arquette. Scorsese works off a script by novelist Richard Price who also wrote The Color of Money for Scorsese. It reveals the characters and their relationship gradually without any forced exposition. The film is a visual tour de force for Scorsese who packs a feature length film's worth of camera and editing flair into a smaller package. He's particularly big on iris shots which is a technique that dates back to the age of silents. The scenes of Dobie painting with his boombox blaring in the background are absolutely brilliant.

40 minutes is a perfect length for this character study. I don't think there's two hours of story in Lionel Dobie. He's a ******* like a lot of Scorsese protagonists but not a particularly malevolent one. By the time the credits roll we know him in a way that he doesn't fully understand himself.

 
Another random person that I love hearing talk about movies is Bill Hader. 0 clue he was on SNL ( :bag: ), I just new him from the random movies he was in and always thought he was funny. The Adventures in Moviegoing on Criterion Channel is one of my favorite things on there - I just wish they had more. Anyway, I stumbled on an interview with him talking about Scorsese on break which is why it was on my mind.

The interesting thing listening to these people, and I can't think of any exceptions off-hand, seems to be a similar history of: 1. watching "adult" movies too young, and 2. often with a parental figure. Hader talked about watching Taxi Driver pre-teen, Aster talked of watching The Piano Teacher with his mom in the theater I think around 10/11, Scorsese talks about escaping to the cinema with Dad, on and on... It's just funny because I know as a parent in 2024 that sounds bizzare with how much we shield kids from stuff (well, not violence so much), but the results speak for themselves. :lol:

Time to introduce the kiddo to Midsommar?
 
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Another random person that I love hearing talk about movies is Bill Hader. 0 clue he was on SNL ( :bag: ), I just new him from the random movies he was in and always thought he was funny. The Adventures in Moviegoing on Criterion Channel is one of my favorite things on there - I just wish they had more. Anyway, I stumbled on an interview with him talking about Scorsese on break which is why it was on my mind.

The interesting thing listening to these people, and I can't think of any exceptions off-hand, seems to be a similar history of: 1. watching "adult" movies too young, and 2. often with a parental figure. Hader talked about watching Taxi Driver pre-teen, Aster talked of watching The Piano Teacher with his mom in the theater I think around 10/11, Scorsese talks about escaping to the cinema with Dad, on and on... It's just funny because I know as a parent in 2024 that sounds bizzare with how much we shield kids from stuff (well, not violence so much), but the results speak for themselves. :lol:

Time to introduce the kiddo to Midsommar?

Scorsese says Duel in the Sun is the first movie he ever saw in the theater. If he saw it on initial release, he would have been four although it was common for big productions like Duel to be re-released to second run theaters.

Producer David Selznick and King Vidor fought the Production Code on the picture. It was pretty steamy stuff for the time earning the nickname Lust in the Dust. Scorsese included some pretty long clips of the movie in his Personal Journey documentary that piqued my interest. I haven't seen it in over 40 years but free streams seem readily available so I may check it out.
 
Another random person that I love hearing talk about movies is Bill Hader. 0 clue he was on SNL ( :bag: ), I just new him from the random movies he was in and always thought he was funny. The Adventures in Moviegoing on Criterion Channel is one of my favorite things on there - I just wish they had more. Anyway, I stumbled on an interview with him talking about Scorsese on break which is why it was on my mind.

The interesting thing listening to these people, and I can't think of any exceptions off-hand, seems to be a similar history of: 1. watching "adult" movies too young, and 2. often with a parental figure. Hader talked about watching Taxi Driver pre-teen, Aster talked of watching The Piano Teacher with his mom in the theater I think around 10/11, Scorsese talks about escaping to the cinema with Dad, on and on... It's just funny because I know as a parent in 2024 that sounds bizzare with how much we shield kids from stuff (well, not violence so much), but the results speak for themselves. :lol:

Time to introduce the kiddo to Midsommar?
Quentin Tarantino talked about that in his book. His mom took him to a lot of movies that he had no business going to when he was a kid.
 
Another random person that I love hearing talk about movies is Bill Hader. 0 clue he was on SNL ( :bag: ), I just new him from the random movies he was in and always thought he was funny. The Adventures in Moviegoing on Criterion Channel is one of my favorite things on there - I just wish they had more. Anyway, I stumbled on an interview with him talking about Scorsese on break which is why it was on my mind.

The interesting thing listening to these people, and I can't think of any exceptions off-hand, seems to be a similar history of: 1. watching "adult" movies too young, and 2. often with a parental figure. Hader talked about watching Taxi Driver pre-teen, Aster talked of watching The Piano Teacher with his mom in the theater I think around 10/11, Scorsese talks about escaping to the cinema with Dad, on and on... It's just funny because I know as a parent in 2024 that sounds bizzare with how much we shield kids from stuff (well, not violence so much), but the results speak for themselves. :lol:

Time to introduce the kiddo to Midsommar?
Quentin Tarantino talked about that in his book. His mom took him to a lot of movies that he had no business going to when he was a kid.
Yeah, and he talked about going to the cinema in the black part of town and watching with her boyfriends. If I remember right there was one main boyfriend that still took him after they broke up or something?
 
Another random person that I love hearing talk about movies is Bill Hader. 0 clue he was on SNL ( :bag: ), I just new him from the random movies he was in and always thought he was funny. The Adventures in Moviegoing on Criterion Channel is one of my favorite things on there - I just wish they had more. Anyway, I stumbled on an interview with him talking about Scorsese on break which is why it was on my mind.

The interesting thing listening to these people, and I can't think of any exceptions off-hand, seems to be a similar history of: 1. watching "adult" movies too young, and 2. often with a parental figure. Hader talked about watching Taxi Driver pre-teen, Aster talked of watching The Piano Teacher with his mom in the theater I think around 10/11, Scorsese talks about escaping to the cinema with Dad, on and on... It's just funny because I know as a parent in 2024 that sounds bizzare with how much we shield kids from stuff (well, not violence so much), but the results speak for themselves. :lol:

Time to introduce the kiddo to Midsommar?
Quentin Tarantino talked about that in his book. His mom took him to a lot of movies that he had no business going to when he was a kid.
Yeah, and he talked about going to the cinema in the black part of town and watching with her boyfriends. If I remember right there was one main boyfriend that still took him after they broke up or something?
Yep, that is right.
 
Another random person that I love hearing talk about movies is Bill Hader. 0 clue he was on SNL ( :bag: ), I just new him from the random movies he was in and always thought he was funny. The Adventures in Moviegoing on Criterion Channel is one of my favorite things on there - I just wish they had more. Anyway, I stumbled on an interview with him talking about Scorsese on break which is why it was on my mind.

The interesting thing listening to these people, and I can't think of any exceptions off-hand, seems to be a similar history of: 1. watching "adult" movies too young, and 2. often with a parental figure. Hader talked about watching Taxi Driver pre-teen, Aster talked of watching The Piano Teacher with his mom in the theater I think around 10/11, Scorsese talks about escaping to the cinema with Dad, on and on... It's just funny because I know as a parent in 2024 that sounds bizzare with how much we shield kids from stuff (well, not violence so much), but the results speak for themselves. :lol:

Time to introduce the kiddo to Midsommar?
Quentin Tarantino talked about that in his book. His mom took him to a lot of movies that he had no business going to when he was a kid.
Yeah, and he talked about going to the cinema in the black part of town and watching with her boyfriends. If I remember right there was one main boyfriend that still took him after they broke up or something?
Yep, that is right.

QT strikes me as a guy who wouldn't be averse to embellishing his own legend
 
Another random person that I love hearing talk about movies is Bill Hader. 0 clue he was on SNL ( :bag: ), I just new him from the random movies he was in and always thought he was funny. The Adventures in Moviegoing on Criterion Channel is one of my favorite things on there - I just wish they had more. Anyway, I stumbled on an interview with him talking about Scorsese on break which is why it was on my mind.

The interesting thing listening to these people, and I can't think of any exceptions off-hand, seems to be a similar history of: 1. watching "adult" movies too young, and 2. often with a parental figure. Hader talked about watching Taxi Driver pre-teen, Aster talked of watching The Piano Teacher with his mom in the theater I think around 10/11, Scorsese talks about escaping to the cinema with Dad, on and on... It's just funny because I know as a parent in 2024 that sounds bizzare with how much we shield kids from stuff (well, not violence so much), but the results speak for themselves. :lol:

Time to introduce the kiddo to Midsommar?
Quentin Tarantino talked about that in his book. His mom took him to a lot of movies that he had no business going to when he was a kid.
Yeah, and he talked about going to the cinema in the black part of town and watching with her boyfriends. If I remember right there was one main boyfriend that still took him after they broke up or something?
Yep, that is right.

QT strikes me as a guy who wouldn't be averse to embellishing his own legend
Touche
 
The Roaring Twenties (1938)
This had to be an influence on the Scorsese gangster movies. We've got intrusive narration, tracking shots, an epic scope (though done in a brisk 104 mins). Incredible leads with Cagney and Bogart squaring off. It's easy to see how Scorsese would have loved to get his hands on either of those actors to make them his Pesci and DeNiro. It's close to the artistic pinnacle of the old Warner Brothers gangster movies and highlights the plight of the veterans returning from Europe all while a new World War looms. Where Martin Scorsese might have tapped the most into The Roaring Twenties is for filming the premiere of Boardwalk Empire. All in all, a must see for fans of gangster films.

I just bought a TCM 4-movie set with this in it. Looking forward to it.
 
Oh and had a coffee and watched ItalianAmerican this morning. For some reason, I thought it was more recently done. What a beautiful time capsule of 1974. I wish I had something like that for my parents and grandparents. Though since it was not my own blood, I did get distracted several times watching it. More interesting than a standard home movie obviously but not that much.

I was eight in 74. This one reminded me a lot of my grandparents and their house in Queens.
 
Oh and had a coffee and watched ItalianAmerican this morning. For some reason, I thought it was more recently done. What a beautiful time capsule of 1974. I wish I had something like that for my parents and grandparents. Though since it was not my own blood, I did get distracted several times watching it. More interesting than a standard home movie obviously but not that much.

I was eight in 74. This one reminded me a lot of my grandparents and their house in Queens.
That’s cool- I bet that would make it extra interesting. I would definitely have more interest if this was set the metro Detroit area.
 
The Roaring Twenties (1938)
This had to be an influence on the Scorsese gangster movies. We've got intrusive narration, tracking shots, an epic scope (though done in a brisk 104 mins). Incredible leads with Cagney and Bogart squaring off. It's easy to see how Scorsese would have loved to get his hands on either of those actors to make them his Pesci and DeNiro. It's close to the artistic pinnacle of the old Warner Brothers gangster movies and highlights the plight of the veterans returning from Europe all while a new World War looms. Where Martin Scorsese might have tapped the most into The Roaring Twenties is for filming the premiere of Boardwalk Empire. All in all, a must see for fans of gangster films.

I just bought a TCM 4-movie set with this in it. Looking forward to it.
If you like those old Warner gangster movies, you will almost surely dig this. What else came in the set?
 
The Roaring Twenties (1938)
This had to be an influence on the Scorsese gangster movies. We've got intrusive narration, tracking shots, an epic scope (though done in a brisk 104 mins). Incredible leads with Cagney and Bogart squaring off. It's easy to see how Scorsese would have loved to get his hands on either of those actors to make them his Pesci and DeNiro. It's close to the artistic pinnacle of the old Warner Brothers gangster movies and highlights the plight of the veterans returning from Europe all while a new World War looms. Where Martin Scorsese might have tapped the most into The Roaring Twenties is for filming the premiere of Boardwalk Empire. All in all, a must see for fans of gangster films.

I just bought a TCM 4-movie set with this in it. Looking forward to it.
If you like those old Warner gangster movies, you will almost surely dig this. What else came in the set?

Public Enemy, Little Caesar, Smart Money.

This is it: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UN2IAY/
 
Michael Jackson: Bad (1987)

Scorsese directed this 18 minute music video from a script by Richard Price with whom he'd just done The Color of Money. The cinematographer was Michael Chapman who shot Raging Bull. To say it was wildly anticipated cannot be understated. Bad was Jackson's first album since Thriller five years earlier. The first single off of the album was released without an accompanying video so Bad was Jackson's return to the young medium he had revolutionized. Scorsese's video was hyped as the most ambitious and expensive ever made. It premiered as part of a CBS prime time during the final years of monoculture.

The video opens like The Holdovers at the end of term at a tony prep school. Jackson's character Darryl leaves these idyllic surrounding and travels back to his gritty neighborhood in New York City. His homies, led by Wesley Snipes try to get Darryl to follow them in commuting petty crimes on the subway. The scene ends with Snipes shouting "are you bad?" in Darryl's face. I should mention there's no music for the first nine minutes which is filmed in black and white. Darryl joins the crew on the subway platform but refuses to rob an old man which leads to more yelling about "who's bad". Suddenly, the scene changes from black and white to color and a bunch of dancers magically appear. Jackson sings and dances "Bad" but a different version from the record with an organ solo and an acapella coda. This is apparently enough to convince Snipes that Darryl is indeed bad because they shake hands and Snipes walks away.

The film was underwhelming for me and it lacked the magic of the best music videos. I think Scorsese and Price were trying for the look of a 50s juvenile delinquent movie in the black and white prologue but Jackson made a more convincing werewolf than he is here as a teenage tough guy. The song and dance number never really took off. Some of this is due to the song which isn't one of Jackson's best but I don't think Scorsese quite masters the medium and everyone looks like they're trying too hard. It's shot in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio which seems cramped for Jackson and a large group of dancers. Another problem is Jackson is dressed in all black so his moves sometimes get lost in the shadows.

I suppose you could have just watched the video in the time it took to read this.

 
Scorsese is the king of the modern gangster movie so lets look back at the best of the old Warner Brothers gangster pictures

Angels with Dirty Faces

Once again Bogart is in more of a supporting role here and it's Cagney who shines. Michael Curtiz directs and he's probably the best pure studio director of the time. It shows here, this is a beautifully made movie for any year. I've had maybe one too many whiskeys to get into all the direct comparables to Marty but it's clear that the lineal title he's long held passed through this film.
 
Interesting article from The Guardian about Scorsese's personal VHS trove

That’s the least surprising thing ever

I got a chuckle from the idea of Di Caprio fast forwarding through a bunch of Crazy Eddie's commercials to study up on some Dan Duryea performance that Marty sent him.
 
Because of the various Scorsese lists and seeing his top 10, I knocked out a great mix of movies this week:

Ugetsu: I really dug this one. We lived in Japan for 4 years when I very young (Dad was in the Air Force). I've always been drawn to the region and it's culture. I will admit that I struggled a bit with the stories and some details but was caught up in the great visuals. I will for sure be rewatching this one, so I am sure I will understand a little more soon.

The Red Shoes: Looks amazing in 4k. I am glad I watched it for that, but it didn't fall in the "love it" camp for me.

Stagecoach: I'm officially just not a fan of John Wayne in movies. Buck was also getting on my nerves as well, but that is also a bit of a nitpick and overall I was surprised how much I enjoyed watching this one. For a 30s film, there was some impressive action and stunts. I don't think it's the intent when I see in on lists, but I had fun with it in a similar way I would an action blockbuster. E.g. it was funny to the trope of the goods guys having 100% accuracy with guns, but the bad guys are spraying bullets and arrows everywhere. (Well besides that first shot that set off the action - we will give them .01% accurate).

Paisan: This one floored me and was the best of the bunch. I was considering a rewatch very soon. I knew nothing about this one, and was caught off-guard a little by the format with the various stories/episodes. It revolves around the liberation of Italy during WW2.
 
Paisan: This one floored me and was the best of the bunch. I was considering a rewatch very soon. I knew nothing about this one, and was caught off-guard a little by the format with the various stories/episodes. It revolves around the liberation of Italy during WW2.
Great movie. It's part of an unofficial trilogy by Rossellini with Rome Open City and Germany Year Zero. All 3 are incredible IMO. Made in the neorealist style and set among the ruins of the war.
 
Paisan: This one floored me and was the best of the bunch. I was considering a rewatch very soon. I knew nothing about this one, and was caught off-guard a little by the format with the various stories/episodes. It revolves around the liberation of Italy during WW2.
Great movie. It's part of an unofficial trilogy by Rossellini with Rome Open City and Germany Year Zero. All 3 are incredible IMO. Made in the neorealist style and set among the ruins of the war.
Good info, I liked Rome Open City too, so I will look for the 3rd.
 
Raging Bull (1980)

I saw Raging Bull during its original theatrical run and again on a crappy pan & scan print during the VHS era so it's probably been 30 years since I last watched it. My opinion about it hasn't changed all that much over the decades. I've never really bought into the notion that Raging Bull is Scorsese's masterpiece and among the all-time greats of American cinema. For me, it's remains a film that has many admirable qualities but just leaves me cold.

My biggest issue is the flatness of the plot. LaMotta is pretty much the same character throughout the movie. His relationships all predictably turn out badly. Fight scenes happen without much in the way of personal or historical context. If the bible passage that's shown before the credits is supposed to refer to Jake's redemption, there's little in the post-prison scenes that show he's truly changed. He's older but not necessarily wiser and likely still possessed by the rage and jealousy that wrecked his life. Perhaps that's the point of Paul Schrader's script, Jake is just who he is, a destructive force without explanation or motivation.

Of course, the movie is a brilliant technical achievement. Jake is arguably De Niro's greatest performance. Pesci and Cathy Moriarty are also excellent although Vickie's dialog is inaudible at times. Michael Chapman's black and white photography is beautiful and evocative of mid-century New York. I was impressed by the extreme contrast between the kinetic camerawork and editing of the fight scenes and the stillness of the domestic scenes that are shot in an almost neorealist style. It makes it all the more striking when those scenes explode into arguments and violence.

I don't want to come off as too negative about Raging Bull. It's an excellent film, much better than Casino or most of the other movies I'll watch this month, but I just think it falls a bit short of its lofty reputation.
 
Raging Bull (1980)

I saw Raging Bull during its original theatrical run and again on a crappy pan & scan print during the VHS era so it's probably been 30 years since I last watched it. My opinion about it hasn't changed all that much over the decades. I've never really bought into the notion that Raging Bull is Scorsese's masterpiece and among the all-time greats of American cinema. For me, it's remains a film that has many admirable qualities but just leaves me cold.

My biggest issue is the flatness of the plot. LaMotta is pretty much the same character throughout the movie. His relationships all predictably turn out badly. Fight scenes happen without much in the way of personal or historical context. If the bible passage that's shown before the credits is supposed to refer to Jake's redemption, there's littlIne in the post-prison scenes that show he's truly changed. He's older but not necessarily wiser and likely still possessed by the rage and jealousy that wrecked his life. Perhaps that's the point of Paul Schrader's script, Jake is just who he is, a destructive force without explanation or motivation.

Of course, the movie is a brilliant technical achievement. Jake is arguably De Niro's greatest performance. Pesci and Cathy Moriarty are also excellent although Vickie's dialog is inaudible at times. Michael Chapman's black and white photography is beautiful and evocative of mid-century New York. I was impressed by the extreme contrast between the kinetic camerawork and editing of the fight scenes and the stillness of the domestic scenes that are shot in an almost neorealist style. It makes it all the more striking when those scenes explode into arguments and violence.

I don't want to come off as too negative about Raging Bull. It's an excellent film, much better than Casino or most of the other movies I'll watch this month, but I just think it falls a bit short of its lofty reputation.
One interesting thing about Raging Bull is how it followed Rocky. It's even from the producers of Rocky. This was maybe not quite the Rocky follow-up they must have been anticipating. I wonder what Irwin Winkler thought when he saw this?
 
I figured a first watch of The Last Temptation of Christ was a logical way to end Scorsese month and Easter Weekend.

I was going to post that I don't have much in the way of comments here. If anything, it makes me wonder why there was so much controversy around this movie? I haven't seen the Mel Gibson one but I know the Church and Christians embraced that and made it a huge hit. Why such different reactions?

But then I saw the final 30 mins of the movie...I get it now. Still an overreaction imo but I at least see that they probably didn’t like seeing Jesus have sex.
 
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One interesting thing about Raging Bull is how it followed Rocky. It's even from the producers of Rocky. This was maybe not quite the Rocky follow-up they must have been anticipating. I wonder what Irwin Winkler thought when he saw this?

Chartoff and Winkler had previously produced Scorsese's New York, New York. Winkler also got a producer's credit on The Irishman 40 years later.

I think the producers were probably more ready for Raging Bull than contemporary audiences were because it didn't earn back its production budget in initial release. Scorsese was fortunate to survive a decade of poor box office results between Taxi Driver and The Color of Money. The King of Comedy was a huge flop in 1982 and could have been a career killer in different circumstances.
 
I figured a first watch of The Last Temptation of Christ was a logical way to end Scorsese month and Easter Weekend.

I was going to post that I don't have much in the way of comments here. If anything, it makes me wonder why there was so much controversy around this movie? I haven't seen the Mel Gibson one but I know the Church and Christians embraced that and made it a huge hit. Why such different reactions?

But then I saw the final 30 mins of the movie...I get it now. Still an overreaction imo but I at least see that they probably didn’t like seeing Jesus have sex.
I thought it was a very good film.
 
I figured a first watch of The Last Temptation of Christ was a logical way to end Scorsese month and Easter Weekend.

I was going to post that I don't have much in the way of comments here. If anything, it makes me wonder why there was so much controversy around this movie? I haven't seen the Mel Gibson one but I know the Church and Christians embraced that and made it a huge hit. Why such different reactions?

But then I saw the final 30 mins of the movie...I get it now. Still an overreaction imo but I at least see that they probably didn’t like seeing Jesus have sex.
I thought it was a very good film.
I liked it. Not really my favorite story, I got enough of it with 12 years of Catholic School but this was at least an interesting take on it.
 
I figured a first watch of The Last Temptation of Christ was a logical way to end Scorsese month and Easter Weekend.

I was going to post that I don't have much in the way of comments here. If anything, it makes me wonder why there was so much controversy around this movie? I haven't seen the Mel Gibson one but I know the Church and Christians embraced that and made it a huge hit. Why such different reactions?

But then I saw the final 30 mins of the movie...I get it now. Still an overreaction imo but I at least see that they probably didn’t like seeing Jesus have sex.
I thought it was a very good film.
I liked it. Not really my favorite story, I got enough of it with 12 years of Catholic School but this was at least an interesting take on it.

Last Temptation is perhaps the least epic telling of the Christ story ever put on film. I don't know how closely it follows Kazantzakis' novel.

It's interesting that Scorsese wants to make another film about Jesus as his next project. He says it's only going to run 80 minutes or so but we'll see if that holds up once he starts shooting.
 
What I got out of Scorsese month was appreciating his documentary work and specifically his one about American and Italian cinema. I'm glad I got to a couple new flicks, but nothing changed in my Marty rankings. I think the 70s and 80s run is awesome, the 90s are overrated, and the 00s+ are underrated. My top five are still Raging Bull, After Hours, Taxi Driver, King of Comedy, and Wolf of Wall Street. I added a bunch of ideas to my ever growing list because of his suggestions.

I will start typing up the intro to April.
 
Casino is both underrated and overrated. It's not Goodfellas and is in many ways too much like a Goodfellas sequel that just got away from Marty. On the other, it's a a lot of fun and the stylization of that era Vegas is perfect.
"I'm gonna go get the papers, get the papers."
 

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