Martin Scorsese interviews his mother and father about their life in New York City and the family history back in Sicily. These are two people who have lived together for a long time and ... See full summary »
A feature-length documentary starring Fran Lebowitz, a writer known for her unique take on modern life. The film weaves together extemporaneous monologues with archival footage and the ... See full summary »
William F. Buckley,
"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
Intense and prolific filmmaker Martin Scorsese did not seem to be satisfied with projecting the influence he drew from Italian films from the 1940s, '50s, and '60s on his own films. So, he spends four solid hours explaining the details and expressions of at least thirty films, all condensed into about ten minutes each. He analyzes and discloses trivia about each of them and pours out all of his passion into this like water bore over his shoulders that he can't bear anymore.
For awhile, I was wondering why he would spend so much time doing this. Why make a movie wherein most of the footage is taken from other movies? Why examine a condensed version of each film from beginning to end when we may want to see these movies ourselves? Well, after awhile, I realized the point of this. Scorsese had a very important reason why he wanted to make this epic documentary. It's because these films are what made him the filmmaker he is, not to mention the person he is, and their effects have not weakened throughout time. So, he wants to perpetuate their lives. He wants to interest younger generations, such as mine, in these films and their makers.
And I'll tell you what. It works. I am now very interested in seeing a lot of these movies. I realize I have not seen nearly enough films by Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, or Vittorio De Sica. And I plan to, thanks to Scorsese's film.
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