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
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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