UA-130521384-1 Jump to content
Forum Cinema em Cena
rubysun

Martin Scorsese

Qual é o melhor filme dirigido por Martin Scorsese?  

61 members have voted

  1. 1. Qual é o melhor filme dirigido por Martin Scorsese?

    • Quem Bate à Minha Porta?
      0
    • Caminhos Perigosos
      2
    • Alice Não Mora Mais Aqui
      0
    • Taxi Driver
      44
    • Touro Indomável
      20
    • O Rei da Comédia
      0
    • Depois de Horas
      4
    • A Última Tentação de Cristo
      4
    • Os Bons Companheiros
      19
    • Cabo do Medo
      1
    • Cassino
      9
    • Outro
      4


Recommended Posts

Eu só assisti três dele: Taxi Driver, Os Bons Companheiros e Gangues de Nova York, e minha preferência fica nesta ordem. Estou precisando assistir Touro Indomável. Aliás, estou precisando assistir a uma porção de filmes. Salvei aquela lista de melhores filmes pela AFI pra ir decorando os que eu preciso ver urgentemente. Ontem fui na locadora, peguei Os Irmãos Grimm e O Silêncio dos Inocentes, e constatei que Por Um Punhado de Dólares é o único da trilogia presente. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fico dividido, penso e não consigo escolher o melhor entre TOURO INDOMAVEL e TAXI DRIVER. Pra mim os dois são filmaços, estão no meu top 3 de todos os tempos (o outro é Poderoso Chefão).

 

dos que já vi:

Touro indomável: 10,0+

Taxi Driver: 10,0+

Cassino: 9,5

Os Bons Companheios: 9,5

Cabo Do Medo: 9,0

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dizer q um filme dele é "disparado" o melhor' date=' como murilosimao e o Graxa fizeram também, soa como ofensa... tudo dele é tão foda![/quote']

 

Tudo é tão foda! Mesmo, mesmo. Só que Touro Indomável é mais ainda. do que todos.
Carioca2006-09-25 12:27:11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eu só assisti três dele: Taxi Driver' date=' Os Bons Companheiros e Gangues de Nova York, e minha preferência fica nesta ordem. Estou precisando assistir Touro Indomável. Aliás, estou precisando assistir a uma porção de filmes. Salvei aquela lista de melhores filmes pela AFI pra ir decorando os que eu preciso ver urgentemente. Ontem fui na locadora, peguei Os Irmãos Grimm e O Silêncio dos Inocentes, e constatei que Por Um Punhado de Dólares é o único da trilogia presente.  [/quote']

 

Desculpe, não entendi. Vc disse que Por um Punhado de Dólares é o único filme da trilogia dos dólares presente na famosa lista do imdb?

 

Se não me engano Três Homens em Conflito é um dos primeiros da lista.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O AVIADOR é simplesmente o filme MAIS FRACO do Scorsese que eu já vi, realmente é um filme sofrível, fraco, temática fraca e sem sal. Deu sono assistir esse filme. Gangues de Nova York tbm não fica muito atrás não. E o A Última Tentação de Cristo nem vou perder meu tempo com esse.

Os melhores do cara são:

Cassino

Os Bons Companheiros

Taxi Driver

Touro Indomável

Caminhos Perigosos

Quem Bate a Minha Porta

A Cor do Dinheiro

 
zump zapt zum2006-09-26 19:28:01

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Postada por zump zapt zum

E o A Última Tentação de Cristo nem vou perder meu tempo com esse.

 

Por quê? Espero que vc não me responda o que eu acho que vc vai responder...

 

Cara, não vou assistir isso pela temática do filme, além de ser já tão explorada, acredito que não tenha nada a acrescentar as toneladas de filmes que já lançaram a esse respeito. Só não espero que esse seja aqueles filmes dramalhões contando a história de um Jesus pobre coitado, sofredor, que fez isso por uma carrada de gente, e essa bla bla bla, conversa pra boi dormir, uááááaá, deu até sono! 06

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


E o A Última Tentação de Cristo nem vou perder meu tempo com esse.

 

Por quê? Espero que vc não me responda o que eu acho que vc vai responder...

 

Cara' date=' não vou assistir isso pela temática do filme, além de ser já tão explorada, acredito que não tenha nada a acrescentar as toneladas de filmes que já lançaram a esse respeito. Só não espero que esse seja aqueles filmes dramalhões contando a história de um Jesus pobre coitado, sofredor, que fez isso por uma carrada de gente, e essa bla bla bla, conversa pra boi dormir, uááááaá, deu até sono! 06
[/quote']

 

Pelo menos vc não respondeu o que eu esperava, mas... 09

 

Iche... te digo que vc está redondamente enganado. Julgar que um filme será isso ou aquilo, sem tê-lo visto e embasar isso pra dizer que não vaiver é muita, muita burrice. Só dá uma olhada no tópico "Cineclube em Cena" e tenta acompanhar a discussão; o filme é absurdamente diferente dos outros que tratam de Jesus. Talvez, por mim, se tirassem o elemento "Jesus" do filme ele ainda seria perfeito. E a gama de comentários a se fazer sobre ele é fascinante.
rubysun2006-09-26 20:15:36

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eu só assisti três dele: Taxi Driver' date=' Os Bons Companheiros e Gangues de Nova York, e minha preferência fica nesta ordem. Estou precisando assistir Touro Indomável. Aliás, estou precisando assistir a uma porção de filmes. Salvei aquela lista de melhores filmes pela AFI pra ir decorando os que eu preciso ver urgentemente. Ontem fui na locadora, peguei Os Irmãos Grimm e O Silêncio dos Inocentes, e constatei que Por Um Punhado de Dólares é o único da trilogia presente.  [/quote']

 

Desculpe, não entendi. Vc disse que Por um Punhado de Dólares é o único filme da trilogia dos dólares presente na famosa lista do imdb?

 

Se não me engano Três Homens em Conflito é um dos primeiros da lista.

 

Ih, não.06 O post ficou confuso mesmo. Eu quis dizer que Por um Punhado de Dólares é o único da trilogia na locadora.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Iche... te digo que vc está redondamente enganado. Julgar que um filme será isso ou aquilo, sem tê-lo visto e embasar isso pra dizer que não vaiver é muita, muita burrice. Só dá uma olhada no tópico "Cineclube em Cena" e tenta acompanhar a discussão; o filme é absurdamente diferente dos outros que tratam de Jesus. Talvez, por mim, se tirassem o elemento "Jesus" do filme ele ainda seria perfeito. E a gama de comentários a se fazer sobre ele é fascinante.

 

 

Bom, pensava que a principio, eu estava me dando com pessoas educadas, em nenhum momento eu ensinuei que alguém é ou deixa de ser burra por expressar uma opinião, idéia ou vontade. Acho que vc me deve desculpas. Vc fala que o filme se tira o elemento Jesus ficaria até mais perfeito, eu até concordo, ou não. E se tivesse feito um filósofo ficticio, mas, logicamente, tirando toda e qualquer semelhança com Jesus e a qualquer outro? Teria ficado um roteiro realmente bom? Afinal, fabricar hérois não é muito a la Scorsese, não combina com o estilo dele. Então o que quis Scorsese com esse filme? Reescrever a Ultima Tentação de Cristo é isso? O cara só leva pras telas uma versão Cristã um pouco "mais" aceitável do que poderia ser a vida de Jesus na época, mas nada mais que uma visão pessoal do Diretor e só.  Essa visão do Scorsese pra um filme, foi pra mim uma das piores dele. Já notou que toda década tem filmes sobre Jesus? década de 80 não foi diferente. E agora até tú Scorsese! 04 Afinal de contas existem milhões de pessoas que não se cansam de saber da vida de Jesus, levou o nome de Jesus ou algo a ver com ele a galera: vixe!!!! óóóó!!!  Uma prova disso é esse Código da Vinci. Juntamente com a Visão do Aviador e do Gangues do Nova York, o que eu vejo é um Scorsese sem criatividade pra fazer uma obra que realmente leve sua assinatura. Scorsese pra mim é mestre na cinematógrafia, agora, repito novamente que na minha visão pessoal, eu acho que o cara enferrujou, espero ter que morder a lingua por isso! 06 Já são longos 11 anos desde o ultimo grande filme: CASSINO, e espero ansioso pela volta triunfante do Mestre!!! Senão me engano tá chegando algo dele por ai. Agora se você gosta do que eu chamo das misérias do Scorsese, fique a vontade pra se deleitar.

 
zump zapt zum2006-09-27 06:32:48

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Iche... te digo que vc está redondamente enganado. Julgar que um filme será isso ou aquilo' date=' sem tê-lo visto e embasar isso pra dizer que não vaiver é muita, muita burrice. Só dá uma olhada no tópico "Cineclube em Cena" e tenta acompanhar a discussão; o filme é absurdamente diferente dos outros que tratam de Jesus. Talvez, por mim, se tirassem o elemento "Jesus" do filme ele ainda seria perfeito. E a gama de comentários a se fazer sobre ele é fascinante.

 

 

(1) Bom, pensava que a principio, eu estava me dando com pessoas educadas, em nenhum momento eu ensinuei que alguém é ou deixa de ser burra por expressar uma opinião, idéia ou vontade. Acho que vc me deve desculpas. (2) Vc fala que o filme se tira o elemento Jesus ficaria até mais perfeito, eu até concordo, ou não. E se tivesse feito um filósofo ficticio, mas, logicamente, tirando toda e qualquer semelhança com Jesus e a qualquer outro? Teria ficado um roteiro realmente bom? Afinal, fabricar hérois não é muito a la Scorsese, não combina com o estilo dele. (3) Então o que quis Scorsese com esse filme? Reescrever a Ultima Tentação de Cristo é isso? O cara só leva pras telas uma versão Cristã um pouco "mais" aceitável do que poderia ser a vida de Jesus na época, mas nada mais que uma visão pessoal do Diretor e só.  Essa visão do Scorsese pra um filme, foi pra mim uma das piores dele. Já notou que toda década tem filmes sobre Jesus? década de 80 não foi diferente. E agora até tú Scorsese! 04 Afinal de contas existem milhões de pessoas que não se cansam de saber da vida de Jesus, levou o nome de Jesus ou algo a ver com ele a galera: vixe!!!! óóóó!!!

 
[/quote']

 

(1) Vixe... eu não disse que vc é burro por expressar a opinião, calma lá. Eu disse que a ATITUDE que vc tomou é burra.

 

(2) A resposta é esse trecho é muito simples: veja o filme e tire suas conclusões pra ver se o Scorsese 'fabricou' um herói. E se ele tiver fabricado um herói e feito um roteiro bom? Só porque não condiz com o estilo dele significa que o filme deve ser ruim, e píor, a ponto de criticá-lo sem vê-lo? O problema não é nem ele fazer um filósofo fictício ou um profeta que moldou toda a civilização Ocidental.

 

(3) Vc tem que agradecer pela sorte de não ser o Dook que está te respondendo... 06 Vc está cometendo (e não sendo) uma burrice em julgar que "A Última Tentação" é 'só' uma visão pessoal misturada com o tipo de filme sobre Jesus que pipoca com o único intuito de fazer catequese. O filme do Scorsese mostra diversos pontos-de-vista: o de um Jesus FRÁGIL, assim como qualquer um; o de apóstolos interesseiros e aproveitadores, que não perdiam a oportunidade de tirar vantagem e lucrar por ter conhecido o Messias; o do povo que ia deixando se levar por alguém que prometesse algo. O retrato de época é excelente, e Scorsese mostra ter a mente muito aberta em mostrar que a história não é tão simples como a que a maioria vê na Bíblia, e que o período de firmamento das tradições que são seguidas até hoje no Ocidente (por cristãos, ateus, qualquer religião) foi extremamente conturbado. Além disso, é belíssimo do ponto de vista estético, visto que a história é muito bem contada (ao meu ver, e algo que só se pode opinar vendo o filme). De quebra, tem uma ótima fotografia e uma trilha sonora arrebatadora. É um filme muito mais complexo do que os que a Record passa no Natal, ou o elogiado "A Paixão", do Mel Gibson (que por sinal, pra mim, representa a safra de filmes descartáveis sobre Jesus que te fazem evitar "A Última Tentação").

 

Resumindo: eu não quero te obrigar a gostar do filme, nem obrigar vc a vê-lo, mas seguindo o velho dito popular, não se deve julgar um livro pela capa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

esse seu item 3 resume bem o que eu disse sobre o filme:

Scorsese mostra um estilo de vida mais "ACEITÁVEL" para Jesus na época. Agora, o interesse, a fragilidade, entre outras coisas, conta como visão do Diretor. Agora, não concordo que ele tenha sido Frágil, afinal, um cara que lutou contra o imperialismo Romano, pode ser tudo, mas frágil não é não, muito pelo contrário, o cara é muito bem preparado. Afinal de contas ele já imaginava ou esperava o que viria com sua filosofia, só acho que ele nunca imaginou que sua filosófia, incrementada com a dos apóstolos fosse chegar tão longe!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Um diretor fascinante em diversos aspectos, o que inclui sua câmera maravilhosa, personagens absolutamente complexos, coragem para com os temas (e a forma como os aborda e/ou mostra), entre outras coisas.

 

Além de tudo, sabe muito bem com quem trabalhar, o que já nos proporcionou parcerias inesquecíveis, tais como a com DeNiro, Pesci, Chapman e Schoonmaker.

 

Meu favorito é Touro Indomável.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

dizer q um filme dele é "disparado" o melhor' date=' como murilosimao e o Graxa fizeram também, soa como ofensa... tudo dele é tão foda![/quote']

 

Tudo é tão foda! Mesmo, mesmo. Só que Touro Indomável é mais ainda. do que todos.
Pois é Guests (11 não acredito!!!), tenho plena conciência q tenho q rever Touro Indomável, mas Taxi Driver é top 3 de todos os tempos pra mim (sem posição definida), é difícil de ser superado, mas se tratando do Scorsese é bem possível....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taxi Driver! Realmente é uma obra-prima, mais um trabalho de mestre do Marty. O protagonista, Travis, é uma das coisas mais fascinantes que vi no mundo cinematográfico. De fato, não só entre os melhores de Scorsese como também digno de aparecer em qualquer lista de melhores em todos os tempos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Não percam, dia 05/10 na TNT...

 

 

Scorsese on Scorsese

Scorsese em pessoa conta como foi sua vida desde

a infância em Nova York até a estréia de O Aviador. Um show para os fãs do

diretor, que vão poder ouvi-lo comentar vários de seus filmes. TNT, 05/10,

20h00.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Personal Journey: The Films of Martin Scorsese

 

 

by Anna, Ari, John, Lons, Scott, and Yuki

 

 

 

 

 

"My whole life has been movies and religion. That's it. Nothing else."

 

 

 

 

scorsesemain.jpg

 

 

For

the release of Martin Scorsese’s new crime drama The Departed, we’ve

compiled an in-depth analysis of his already robust and landmark

career, from his shorts to his epics. This marks our first

retrospective and an introduction to what will become a continuous

series.

 

 

Part 1: 1967 - 1977

 

 

Three by Scorsese (Shorts)

 

by Lons

 

 

This

hard to find Laserdisc release probably won't be coming to DVD very

soon, mainly because one of the films is a brief little film school

oddity and another features Scorsese and some other notable individuals

doing drugs and hanging out in a flophouse with apparent lowlifes. 

This is too bad, because the movies are fascinating for Scorsese fans

looking to gain some insight into the themes that would drive his later

work or anyone interested in highly personal, and confessional,

documentary filmmaking.

 

 

All three documentaries deal with

the frequent Scorsese theme of self-regard.  In what's probably the

guy's single most famous scene ever, Travis Bickle admires himself in

the mirror, wearing his newly-holstered guns, and then begins to

verbally challenge his reflection.  ("Are you talkin' to me?")  These

films analyze and unpack Scorsese's idea of self in different ways, but

the end result is always the same - an attempt to glean something

meaningful about his own life through memories, images, and anecdotes.

 

 

scorseseimageshorts.jpg

 

 

 

Italianamerican

 

 

 

Here, Scorsese interviews his parents on a sunny afternoon in New York,

spending most of the time discussing food.  During the interview, his

mother cooks her own recipe for marinara sauce, the father recalls all

the different delicacies prevalent in his old neighborhood, and they

both reminisce about Italy while displaying photos taken at landmarks

and in various restaurants.

 

 

 

The food represents a connection to the Old Country, I suppose, a

living part of the culture that came intact to America with the

immigrants.  Charles' and Catherine's pride in their Italian upbringing

comes through in their stories.  They recall the ingenuity of their

parents, making wine in their basements because it was cheaper than

buying it in the store.

 

 

 

The neighborhood, according to Charles Scorsese, was once exclusively

Jewish and Italian, and as he remembers the good old days, when the

street was bustling and prosperous, we see footage of the New York

streets of the film's present (1974).  It doesn't appear too different

than the scene he's describing (albeit more racially diverse and more

run-down), but from the tone of his voice, the feeling of something

precious that has been lost still hangs over the sequence. 

 

 

 

Good or bad, memories of the past inevitably lead to nostalgia.  We

always romanticize our backgrounds, remembering positive experiences

fondly while overlooking the suffering.  It's a neccessary defense

mechanism, but also keeps us from ever having a clear view of who we

are and where we come from.  At the film's conclusion, Catherine

Scorsese complains about the mess the film crew has made in her

apartment, and then finds out they'll have to come back and mess it all

up the next day for reshoots.  Such is the cost of documenting the past

- it makes the present more messy.

 

 

 

The Big Shave

 

 

 

In this brief short, a man (Peter Bernuth) walks into a sparkling

clean, white bathroom and begins to shave. Unfortunately, he seems to

have the method wrong, and begins to cut and slash at his face,

producing copious amounts of blood.  The film's subtitle, Viet '67,

seems to indicate that it's a political critique.  Just as the country

continued fighting in Vietnam long after it was obvious the war was an

unwinnable quagmire, so the man keeps right on shaving his face even

after all the hair and the first few layers of skin have been removed.

 

 

 

A variety of other readings are possible.  Like Travis Bickle looking

at himself in that mirror, or Henry Hill staring at his coked-out

visage in Goodfellas, this anonymous man regards himself and comes away

unsettled by the experience.  Perhaps he cuts to atone for some

unspoken sin, like Keitel's Charlie holding his hand over a flame in

Mean Streets.  Or it's an even more blatant Christ allegory, a man

despoiling himself for the benefit of us, the viewer. 

 

 

 

American Boy

 

 

 

An interview between Scorsese and actor Steven Prince conducted over

the course of several nights in the Hollywood home of actor George

Memmoli, American Boy opens as a charming chronicle of a storied and

exciting life.  Prince is a wild man, and the movie dives into his life

story with furious energy, fueled by stomping Neil Young rock songs on

the soundtrack.  Prince had been a tour manager for Neil Diamond, a

drug addict, an actor and a teenage entrepreneur, frequently all at

once, and he recalls some of his most amusing anecdotes in a raucous

party atmosphere.

 

 

 

Perhaps the most entertaining story involves his alcoholic uncle

getting the entire family stranded during a 4th of July boating trip. 

Another anecdote involves a run-in with a 700 pound silverback

gorilla.  Prince is a lively, funny guy with a real gift for telling

stories, and many of the movie's individual sequences have been

borrowed by other filmmakers.  Richard Linklater includes Prince

retelling a story about killing a maniacal thief while working at a gas

station in his animated head trip Waking Life.  Quentin Tarantino lifts

Prince's story about reviving an OD'ing girl with an adrenaline-filled

hypodermic needle to the chest plate in Pulp Fiction, pretty much

verbatim.  (This is possible in part because Prince's stories are so

detailed and engaging.  He remembers little things like the black

medical book stored in the refrigerator.)

 

 

 

As the film continues, the stories get darker and so the filmmaking

gets more personal and intimate.  Prince is a charming, self-effacing

and obviously brilliant guy, and then through his life stories, we

slowly start to see the disappointment and the frustration of not

fulfilling all of his true potential, as well as some of the trauma

that may have held him back.  By the end of the film, Scorsese holds on

Prince's face in tight close-ups, and the fatigue and desperation

evident in his face just keeps getting more and more pronounced.

 

 

This

is self-examination as horrorshow, a man afraid to look too closely at

his failures who does so anyway for the purposes of a film.  Most of

these stories end in some form of tragedy, but the film seems to insist

that they're still worth telling.

 

 

Who's That Knocking At My Door? (1967)

 

by Scott

 

 

The seeds of talent can usually be found in the early work of great

directors, sometimes more prevalent than others. Often times, debut

features can come off as a jumbled amalgam of ideas, techniques, and

influences. Sort of like the eager college student who wants to impress

the professor on the first paper by using fancy words like

"sycophantism," but then forgets how to cite his sources properly. In a

way, Martin Scorsese's first outing, Who's That Knocking At My Door?,

has a tendency to fall victim to such debut clichés. However, that is

what makes it so interesting and fascinating to watch, especially after

having already seen what Marty can do when he moves onto Taxi Driver,

Raging Bull, etc. This film is Scorsese at his loosest, his most

European, clearly drawing on a wide variety of influences (Cassavetes

comes to mind). It is less concerned with plot and more preoccupied

with piecing together interesting sequences, but in the end that is why

it shines.

 

 

Made over the course of

four years, the film began as a student project at NYU with such titles

as "Bring On The Dancing Girls" and "I Call First." One of Who's That

Knocking at My Door's most abstract and risqué sequences is a fantasy

sex sequence that shows Harvey Keitel cavorting with numerous women set

to music by The Doors. The scene was shot a few years after the rest of

the film (a distributor wanted more skin), so Keitel looks noticeably

older. This change winds up working for the scene because he's meant to

be fantasizing himself as someone more suave and mature. There is also

an extended slow motion sequence in which Keitel's character J.R. and

his friends playfully toss around a gun, frequently pointing it at each

other just for kicks. The wannabe film theorist in me is trying really

hard not to read into the homoerotic subtext of this. Anyway, at the

end of the sequence, sounds of gun fire are heard over still images of

John Wayne and Dean Martin in Rio Bravo. Then, we see J.R. and The Girl

(Zina Bethune) exiting a screening of the film. This is one of a few

moments in which Scorsese appears to be commenting on the influence of

cinema on his character's lives (as well as his own).

 

 

scorseseWHOsTHATPIC.jpg

 

 

J.R.'s first meeting with The Girl is one of the standout moments of

the film. He is able to obtain her interest by striking up a

conversation about Westerns after seeing a picture of John Wayne in the

newspaper she is reading. Once they start getting deeper into the

conversation, the scene is covered from numerous different angles,

refusing to follow standard shot/reverse shot techniques. It's a ballsy

move for a first time director, one that would have more than likely

been fumbled in the hands of a lesser talent. It's also a moment in

which Keitel might as well be playing a character named Martin

Scorsese, since he appears to be echoing the director's mannerisms,

speech patterns, and philosophies. From this point on, J.R.'s

relationship with The Girl becomes the central focal point of the story.

 

 

Zina Bethune's deliberately unnamed character "The Girl" represents

that one girl (or one of several) that comes along and breathes fresh

air into your life. She's not quite from the same background as you,

but she's interested in the things that you like and there's a genuine

connection. Naturally, this girl is way too good to be true. In J.R.'s

case, she's not only hesitant to marry him, but also reveals a shocking

incident from her past that J.R. can't seem to live with.

 

 

If the seeds of talent were merely being planted in Scorsese's first

film, he sure as hell did an excellent job of making them grow. Forced

metaphors aside, Who's That Knocking At My Door? is a striking debut

feature that provides the viewer with a lot to look forward to.

Scorsese is unafraid of being personal here, and his interest in themes

including the complex interplay between sex, violence, and religion are

on full display. It can also serve as inspiration to aspiring

filmmakers that may be having trouble getting that first one in the

can. If Marty takes four years to finish his first film, just be glad

if you get yours made this century.

 

 

Boxcar Bertha (1972)

 

by John

 

 

Fake-looking

blood, gratuitous nudity and violence, and acting that ranges from

over-the-top to nonexistent: 1972's Boxcar Bertha may be directed by

Martin Scorsese, but through and through, it's a Roger Corman picture.

 

 

This

certainly is not to say that Scorsese's influences are to be dismissed.

The internally conflicted male protagonist, the obsession with

violence, the deep gaping spiritual wounds—all these Scorsese

trademarks can be found in Boxcar Bertha, just in a more clumsy, almost

prenatal form. This makes it an interesting early work for the

director, but an overall forgettable film.

 

 

The

film depicts Bertha Thompson (Barbara Hershey) and "Big" Bill Shelley

(David Carradine), lovers living somewhere in the South during the

Great Depression. Both Bill, Bertha, and fellow stragglers Rake Brown

(Barry Primus) and Van Morton (Bernie Casey) get caught up in various

misadventures, involving either robberies, grand thefts, or murders.

Soon enough, this quartet become fugitives from justice, and the story

follows each of them as they split up, regroup, and struggle to survive.

 

 

scorseseberthapic.jpg

 

 

Largely

because Scorsese had to work within the limiting confines of a Roger

Corman production, the quality of the storytelling is

uncharacteristically poor. The director does what he can, however, and

does a reasonably

admirable job. The opening credits are

interspersed with Depression-era footage, revealing Scorsese's interest

in history. He effectively captures the terror of extremely violent

acts through rapid cutting and tight close-ups of key details. An

interesting shot of the main characters down a long hallway, however,

bears Scorsese's creative trademark.

 

 

The

Northerner Rake seems transplanted from a later Scorsese film, his

thick New York accent and neurotic behavior more at home with the

director's sensibilities than almost anything else in the film. The

violence is unrealistic but unflinching, and almost always gratuitous,

as the scene involving a train crashing into an exploding car, or the

climactic crucifixion and resulting shoot-em-up in the film's final

scene, clearly show.

 

 

The dialogue,

acting, characterizations, and plot development all bear the hallmarks

of hopelessly shoddy writing, and a broadly conceived class struggle

between working and privileged classes that exists mainly to provide

the fuel for numerous fist fights and gun battles is unadulterated

shlock. Many of the scenes are bizarre and go nowhere, such as the

elderly whore house patron who eats a glass bottle, as well as another

customer who claims to be an anthropologist studying Bertha. Scorsese

also makes an appearance as one of Bertha's clients, even in this early

work, sweetly uttering the line: "If I give you, uh, fifteen dollars

can I stay? I don't want to sleep alone tonight."

 

 

Which

is to say, rent this film if you'd particularly enjoy seeing the

director make one of his lesser-known cameos (in other words, if you're

a fan of Scorsese). Otherwise, this is a Corman production you just

don't really need to see.

 

 

Mean Streets (1973)

 

by Yuki

 

 

Scorsese's

Mean Streets is a profound look at the working class world of organized

crime in New York's Little Italy.  Released in 1973 near the start of

Scorsese's carreer, it's easy to see how this film established him as a

director to look out for.  The film is mesmerizing in all of its

violent glory and tragically flawed characters, it feels intimate, and

at times, almost warm. Scorsese takes pains here to descend into the

seedy grittiness of this world, but revels in the beautiful energy and

glamour of it as well.

 

 

The opening

sequence is done in the style of old 8mm home movies set to the

blissful beats of Motown. It is perhaps a bit too painted in nostalgia,

but nevertheless enchanting, and it provides a nice contrast to many of

the scenes to come.  The sequence introduces us to our characters, a

close-knit group of first generation Italian Americans who grew up

together and are now young adults trying to form their own identities

within this hermetic community.

 

 

Scorsese's

emerging vigorous and dynamic style is present in several gorgeous

shots.  Charlie Cappa, played by Harvey Keitel, is the central

character on the verge of a moral crisis as he is torn between his

personal needs and those of the crime world he was born into.  In an

early shot, the camera follows Charlie into Tony's bar, the meeting

place for his group of friends.  His back is to the camera, his torso

drifts, arms flowing back and forth to the music.  He feels like an

aperture of the camera leading us into his world.  In a later shot, we

see the lights of Little Italy dotting the main street in repeating

arches, running down the black screen like teardrops or a constellation

of stars.  We don't see it within the sea of lights of New York City. 

It truly looks like its own universe, isolated from the outside. 

 

 

Scorsese

succeeds wonderfully in creating a visual language of the New York

Street.  The sidewalk and alleyways, rooftops and stairwells are the

public spaces of the city, but to his characters, it's their world.  As

the narrator says in the beginning of the film, "you don't make up for

your sins in church, you do it in the streets."  These characters know

the streets intimately, and it is as much a part of their past as it is

their future.  Scorsese defines the street by placing it in opposition

to the spaces that surround it – the Church, the restaurant, the

uncle's business where the upper level mobsters discuss the fate of the

younger generation – these are formal spaces that are also rather

opulent, but comparatively stagnant and drained of energy.  Indeed much

of the action and plot twists take place in the streets, and even

though it is clear that these boys grew up together in the same

neighborhood (and probably still all live with their parents), the

movie is eerily absent of warm domestic settings.  There are no

parental figures except an odd scene where Charlie comes home to find a

new shirt folded on his bed with a note from his mother, but we never

see her.  Charlie's deceased father is only mentioned in passing.  The

only guiding principles that seems to have any affect on these boys are

the inherently conflicting figures of the mob bosses and the Church. 

 

 

scorsesemeanstreets.jpg

 

 

Some

of Scorsese's most successful scenes are when he makes us look long and

hard, as though the sole of his shoe were pressed to our head, at his

characters.  After he is first introduced, the delinquent Johnny

(played by Robert DeNiro) tells Charlie an incredibly long and drawn

out excuse for not making his payments on time to their friend Michael.

The two are standing in a claustrophobic, barely-lit back room of

Tony's bar.  The story is obviously a lie, but it is told artfully and

elaborately, and at such length that we get lost in it. 

 

 

In

another excessively long take, Michael and the gang make an afternoon

visit to a neighboring pool hall, whose owner has slacked on his

payments.  The confrontation starts out in feigned friendliness with a

round of shots, but quickly erupts into a fight that draws in everyone

in the hall.  There is a real desperateness and sloppy quality to the

brawl; nothing feels choreographed and it is almost slapstick.  We

focus on two men pummeling each other along the edge of the wall,

charging through chairs and cue racks while traveling around and around

the room, with Scorsese's insistent camera always a few steps behind. 

When the brawl is finally broken up, they make amends with another

round of shots, which starts the cycle of violence all over again.  The

scene reveals the absurdity and the ease with which violence is used. 

 

 

For

me, these shots are the most effective moments of the film. As Scorsese

himself admitted, Mean Streets is semi-autobiographical, and is based

on his childhood friends.  His compassion for his subject matter shows

in this persistent camera work.  Even though Johnny and Charlie seem to

willingly leap into a self-destructive paths, we cannot help but feel

for them. This sense of immediacy and confinement, evoked by Scorsese's

refusal to cut away, is revelatory of the oppressive and insular

society they inhabit, which offers few options outside of crime. 

 

 

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)

 

by Yuki

 

 

The

heroine of Scorsese's 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore is a

dutiful housewife approaching middle age who is abruptly forced to

initiate a new life. Alice Hyatt is of that generation of women who

forged their own identity just before the brink of the sexual

revolution.  Because she lacks the intellectual support of a social

movement –  and because her journey is one of circumstance rather than

choice – Alice's story is refreshingly unfiltered by ideology, focusing

on her personal awakening. The film is undoubtedly feminist, but more

appreciably, it's a beautifully told story from a woman's point of

view. 

 

 

When her tyrannical husband

dies in an accident leaving her penniless with a 12-year-old son, Alice

turns towards the only things she knows: her childhood home in

Monterey, and her former dreams of being a singer.  She sells what she

can and takes off down the road with her nerdy, precocious son,

promising to get him to Monterey before school starts.  Alice's bond

with her son, Donald, is incredibly close.  They both share a

quirkiness and sarcastic sense of humor that is obvious from the first

scenes.  She responds to his foul-mouthed, smartass comments with equal

sting and sarcasm, like "That's wonderful dear, how would you like the

living hell kicked out of you?" Their uninhibited interaction are often

hilarious and poignant, as all they have is each other.  In a way,

Alice is like a child herself, having grown up in the sheltered times

of the Forties and Fifties, when women were truly considered the

auxiliary to men.  The opening scene and credits are done in a style

that harks back to this era by using stereotypical images, like a

rumpled satin backdrop to the credits.  In a strange sort of prelude to

the film, we first see Alice as a young girl carrying a doll and

singing outside her house.  The scene is clearly shot on set in a

studio, bathed in red light, evocative of the images of Dorothy's home

from the Wizard of Oz.

 

 

scorsesealice.jpg

 

 

The

ironic nostalgia of the prelude is quickly brushed aside, and the rest

of the film is comparatively free of any noticeable visual style,

perhaps because Scorsese recognized that the originality of his

characters is the gem of this film.  Scorsese compliments their

natural, conversational dialogue with some subtle atmospheric choices. 

On their first stop in Phoenix, Alice spends all day walking into smoky

bars looking for a job as a singer.  She gets a perm and buys cheap

dresses and heels.  Though she has partly realized her dream of being a

singer, she is isolated at the piano in the smoky spotlight, unable to

let her guard down in this seedy environment.  But Burstyn's acting is

so enchanting, and her character is too impudent to let these scenes

run pitiful.

 

 

Harvey Keitel's

performance as Alice's young lover, Ben Eberhart, is one of the most

explosive and surprising I have seen in a long time.  He first

approaches Alice in the piano bar and is adorably smitten by her,

laughing goofily with wide-eyes when she coldly brushes off his

advances.  She finally caves and they begin an affair, only to be

confronted soon after in her motel room by Ben's distressed young

wife.  Just as Alice reassures her their affair is over, they are

interrupted by an enraged Ben, pounding on the door till he breaks

through the glass and threatens both Alice and his wife.  Scorsese

moves swiftly past the traumatic act by following it with a slapstick

scene with Alice and Tommy frantically packing their room, falling

clumsily over each other.

 

 

In Tucson,

their next stop, Alice begins to awaken to the realities of life,

trading in her dream of supporting herself as a singer for a humbling

and grueling job as a waitress at busy local diner.  The work forces

her to interact with others in a way her previously sheltered life

never allowed, and she begins to take pride in her labors.  She

waitresses alongside tough talking Flo and the strange, introverted

Vera played with incredible comedic timing by Valerie Curtain.  She

also encounters Kris Kristofferson's character David, a stoic rancher

who challenges her to decide what she really wants out of life. 

 

 

Alice

gets to relax into her life here, shedding the superficial exterior she

had in Phoenix.  The atmosphere also opens up, and the film seems to

take a deep breath for the first time.  Scorsese adds shots of Alice

and David on his expansive ranch under wide blue skies.   In one subtly

poignant scene, Alice and Flo are sitting outside sunning themselves

side by side, chatting.  Scorsese shoots them close up from the side. 

The content of their conversation isn't too important; what you get is

two sloping profiles echoing one another, a simple image that shows the

camaraderie of these two women.  It is the first true friendship Alice

has formed since her husband's death, and an unlikely one.  Up close,

it looks as though they were on the beach, miles from civilization. 

Then Scorsese cuts for a second to a far shot, and we see that they are

in  their work uniforms sitting behind the diner next to the dumpster,

a tuft of dust floating by.  The realism and beauty of the image is

telling of Scorsese's admiration of the Italian Neorealist filmmakers. 

 

 

 

The strength and originality of

Alice's character is due in large part to Burstyn, who chose to take on

Alice after rejecting a slew of scripts with marginal female roles, and

chose Scorsese to direct it at Francis Ford Coppola's suggestion.  When

Burstyn met the young director, he had just come off of Mean Streets, a

film noticeably devoid of female characters.  Burstyn asked him what he

knew about women, and Scorsese replied, "nothing, but I'd like to

learn."  Their collaboration resulted in a film that is unique amongst

Scorsese's body of work, and is furthermore one of the most remarkable

"feminist" films around.

 

 

Taxi Driver (1976)

 

by Scott

 

 

In

the past month or so I've been pondering whether or not Scorsese's

ultimate masterpiece is Goodfellas, Mean Streets, Raging Bull, or Taxi

Driver. They all have quite a bit to offer, each one representing a

particular look at what makes his work so damn good. Though I'm still

not quite sure which one to pick, Taxi Driver seems to startle me the

most, even on repeat viewings. It also offers probably the most

intriguing character in any Scorsese film in Travis Bickle.

 

 

Travis is a product of the Vietnam War. He is trained to kill, a

dangerous thing to be when one is as psychologically unstable as he is.

But was he that way before the war? We'll never know, and either way he

is what he is and that's all that matters. This fact appears to be

underlined by the conversation that Travis has with veteran cab driver

Wizard. In this scene, Wizard brings up the notion of one becoming what

he or she does for a living and whether or not that is a good or bad

thing. It comes at a time when Travis is right about to begin his

plunge over the edge.

 

 

Travis is a

racist. It mostly boils under the surface, but it's there. It was the

mid-70s after all, and cinema was far from the blatantly overwrought

depictions of race relations that we see in films today such as Crash.

As Amy Taubin describes in her book about Taxi Driver, "It's there in

his body language when he's hanging out with a group of cab drivers,

one of whom is black; it's there in his eyes when he's looking through

the window of his cab at the action on the street. It is there, most

overtly, when he shoots a skinny black junkie who's trying to hold-up a

neighborhood deli." Sure, Travis winds up hating just about every

despicable person that he comes across, but his potential racism adds

extra depth to his hatred. Another interesting moment dealing with this

issue comes during the scene where Martin Scorsese makes his notorious

cameo (oddly enough, he can also be seen in the background as Betsy

walks into Palantine headquarters the first time Travis sees her).

Scorsese's cab fare character has been driven to murderous intentions

ever since he found out about his wife's affair with a black man. It is

also the scene in which the frighteningly powerful .44 Magnum pistol is

first mentioned. When Travis goes to purchase his gun arsenal, it is the

 

first thing he asks for from the shady dealer.

 

 

scorsesetaxipic.jpg

 

 

Most importantly, Travis is lonely. He doesn't know how to interact

with people. Each time Travis is seen in conversation with another

person, he appears to be completely incapable of coming off as normal.

He can't seem to put on the façade that everyone else does. As he more

or less says after realizing he has failed with Betsy, "I see now that

she is just like the rest of them." Perhaps this is the point where

Travis realizes that he will never be like the rest, which further adds

to his confusion over what exactly his purpose is in life. His

voice-over/journal entries start to take a darker, more disturbing turn

after this. One particularly interesting voice-over is a letter Travis

writes to his parents in which he lies, telling them that he is working

a top secret job for the government and enjoying a healthy relationship

with Betsy.

 

 

Eventually, Travis begins

to think that his purpose in life is to help Iris, the precocious

twelve-year old prostitute played by the young Jodie Foster. As anyone

who has seen the film knows, this leads to the famously violent climax.

Ironically, Travis is lauded as a hero, which brings forth an entirely

different commentary on the society that Travis had come to condemn. A

lot has been made of this ending, and questions have arisen as to

whether or not the denoument is all just a figment of Travis's

imagination in which everything turns out relatively close to the way

he wanted it to. I personally don't find this to be true. The entire

film occasionally drifts into surreal, dream-like territory because of

the way Scorsese chose to shoot it. As a result, it's understandable

why some people may jump to such a theory, particularly after the

awe-inspiring overhead tracking shot that follows the hotel massacre.

 

 

What really seems to shock me the most about Taxi Driver is how

relatable Travis becomes, despite his psychopathic flaws. We are all

lonely at heart, or have been at one point or another. Most likely,

we've all had thoughts of wanting to wash away the evils of society.

Travis simply acts upon these feelings in a way that makes sense to

him. It's a testament to the work done by Scorsese, Paul Schrader, and

Robert DeNiro, that one can see himself in Travis Bickle at one moment,

then see just how easy it is to slip over the edge two or three scenes

later. As far as I'm concerned, Taxi Driver is one of the finest films

ever made and plays an instrumental role in the declaration of Martin

Scorsese as one of the greatest filmmakers to ever work in the

cinematic medium.

 

 

New York New York (1977)

 

by Ari

 

 

New

York New York is a glorious movie, arguably the most underrated film of

Scorsese’s career. A celebration of romance, love, and music, and

Scorsese’s tribute to the grandiose Hollywood musicals of the 30’s,

40’s and 50’s, New York New York is a wonderful mixture of the

director’s many sensibilities and interests. While grit and gore is

most synonymous with Scorsese’s name, the director’s more opulent

efforts, like The Age of Innocence or The Aviator or this film, still

manage to represent his truthful and realistic essence as a filmmaker.

New York New York develops a wonderful and rich relationship between

two talented musicians and their joys and follies of being individual

artists while maintaining their bind as lovers. It’s a realistic

emotional journey set within the theatrical and artificial elements of

the musical genre, and while the mixture oddly clashes at times, the

overall effect is still sensational. New York New York is lively and

fun - a blissful and moving entertainment that holds a special place

among his early works as being different, unexpected and glamorous. And

my god does it sound good.

 

 

It’s the

end of World War II and saxophone playing, fast-talking, high-spirited

Jimmy Doyle (Robert De Niro) is out and looking for fun, celebrating

the end of the war and looking for some female companionship. He sets

his sights on the lovely and beautiful Francine (Liza Minnelli) and

moves in with his usual smooth-talking routines to hopefully sweep her

off her feet. Of course, Jimmy isn’t exactly the most charming of

gentleman, more like a persistent, irritating twerp who does whatever

he can to get whatever he wants. The opening act is some of the most

amusing material in the film, a hilarious meeting of two complete

opposites who just so happen to be a perfect match. Scorsese allowed

the actors to improvise dialogue greatly, and the result is some of the

loosest, most enjoyable banter Scorsese has directed. There’s a joy in

the air, and it’s infectious. They discover each other's love for

music, Jimmy with his saxophone, Francine and her singing, becoming a

success and eventually leading a hot band that tours across the

country.

 

 

scorsesenewyorkpic.jpg

 

 

The

first noticeable aspect of New York New York is the decorated and

theatrical production design, a vibrant love-letter to the musicals

that inspired Scorsese. The sets are purposely artificial, the sort of

glamorous design found in the best of the period. Scorsese lovingly

films his actors in these environments, creating one of his most

visually assured works. The first half is filled with several

laugh-out-loud moments, from Jimmy and Francine’s meeting to eventual

marriage. The dialogue is quick and fun, the sort of fast-talking

hilarity that defined many comedies of the studio-system era.

 

 

Jimmy: I know you from someplace.

 

Francine: No.

 

Jimmy:

You don’t remember me? You don’t remember we met a few years ago, it

was at a party or a dance? We had a long conversation. You can’t

remember that?

 

Francine: No.

 

Jimmy:

I just want to explain to you..first of all...my parents are over

there, my mother and father, and brother and sister, so I gotta see

them in a minute. I was just in three years of the service, so you

know, they haven’t seen me. Now I want to get your phone number so I

can tell you tomorrow what I was thinking about, something very very

important I need to talk to you about.

 

Francine: No.

 

Jimmy: No what?

 

Francine: No.

 

Jimmy: No?

 

Francine: No.

 

Jimmy: No, no, no. You don’t understand.

 

Francine: No.

 

Jimmy: Look, give me your number. You gotta pencil or something?

 

Francine: No.

 

Jimmy: Alright, well I have a photographic memory. Just give me the number and I’ll remember.

 

Francine: No.

 

Jimmy: Yes!

 

France: No.

 

Jimmy: Yes!

 

Francine: No.

 

Jimmy: I’m serious.

 

Francine: I know....no!

 

 

Robert

De Niro is something astonishing in one of his most entertaining

performances. His comedic timing is impeccable. Liza Minnelli looks

like she’s trying her best to keep up with his pace most of the time,

but she has a classical beauty and elegance that makes her perfect for

the role. Plus, her character sings, and she does that quite well, too.

 

 

When

Francine gets pregnant, their relationship begins to slowly crumble.

Each of them have their musical interests, and Jimmy in particular is

split between his responsibility as a husband and his own artistic

wishes. The second half takes a new direction, becoming more intimate

and emotionally raw. The period and glamour remain, but the emotion is

turned up considerably. Jimmy and Francine struggle to maintain their

stability, but his constant insecurities damage their relationship too

deeply. Scorsese has stated that the idea of two artists who have so

much in common but can’t live together is something he finds

particularly appealing, and like all of his best movies, his personal

approach to the drama makes it so effective. The dramatic arc of the

characters is more reminiscent of his own personal works than old

Hollywood productions, making the collision of realism and

theatricality often times bizarre. But it’s strange in a good way, a

film that dwells between genres and defies expectation, something that

continuously interests and entertains for its entire 163 minute running

time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×