Despite its nearly four-hour running time, this is a uniquely personal look at movies from one of the late 20th century's great directors and film historians. The film consists of head & ... See full summary »
Michael Henry Wilson
This concert took place at Madison Square Garden, shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Highlights include "New York State Of Mind" by Billy Joel, "Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who, "I Want Love" by Elton John, and "Freedom" by Paul McCartney.
"I saw these movies. They had a powerful effect on me. You should see them." That's Martin Scorsese's message for this documentary. We meet his family on Elizabeth Street in New York; he's a third generation Italian with Sicilian roots. Starting in 1949, they watched movies on TV as well as in theaters, lots of Italian imports. Scorsese, with his narration giving a personal as well as a public context, shows extended clips of these movies. Films of Rossellini and De Sica fill part one; those of Visconti, Fellini, and Antonioni comprise part two. Scorsese takes time with emotion, style, staging, technique, political context, and cinematic influence. It's his movie family. Written by
Maybe if I lived in New York, perhaps I'd have the chance to take a master class in cinema; but I don't and I haven't. So warmly grateful I was along with a half-full house Memorial Day morning at the Seattle International Film Festival to absorb Scorsese's generous tutorial on Italian neo-realism. Of the dozen or more films filleted, I'd never laid eyes on three-quarters of them. The four-hour experience was like taking a double-tank dive to a sunken ship and coming back up with treasures. I'll definitely find a way to see "Open City", "Paisa", "Senso" and "Eclipse". Scorsese's gentle, loving commentary as he sends us sailing on a sea of images is so intimate and, occasionally, so humorous that I felt my heart grow inside me. This documentary will take you deep into a humanity that most Americans have never empathetically understood. This film is an event in maturity, an act of love.
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