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Robert De Niro,
Produced and directed by Richard Schickel, this 90-minute documentary is mostly an informal look at the life and career of landmark film director Martin Scorsese - plus film clips - and one of the world's most engaging conversationalists. In the TCM produced film, Mr. Scorsese just talks about his movies, with a lot of good humor and insight. He speaks at a quick pace, whether he is explaining how his own Italian-American childhood informed "Goodfellas" (1990) or recalling his mind-meld with Robert De Niro during the making of "The King of Comedy." (1983). Scorsese has something interesting to say about almost every movie he has made or seen. Film clips from his movies include "Mean Streets" (1973); "Taxi Driver," (1976); "New York New York" (1977); "Raging Bull" (1980); "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988); "Cape Fear" (1991); "The Age of Innocence" (1993); "Casino" (1995); "Gangs of New York" (2002) and "The Aviator" (2004). Written by
Interesting once it gets past all of his gangster films...
I found myself interested only in the first part of SCORSESE ON SCORSESE where he talks about his early environment, beginning in Corona, Queens and then moving to the East Side of New York City where the tough survival of street hoodlums was a way of life.
He talks fondly of his Italian parents, their sense of humor, the fact that his father introduced him to the movies, taking him into the city all the time to see the movies of the '40s and '50s. By the time we get to Scorsese's run of gangster films (everything from MEAN STREETS, TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL, GOODFELLAS and THE GANGS OF NEW YORK), we see clip upon clip of the aimless violence that had their grip on most of his most famous films. The bloodbath is almost too much at times. It's almost a relief that THE DEPARTED is not included since the documentary was filmed in '04.
Then, finally, we get a respite with THE AGE OF INNOCENCE and THE AVIATOR, and some generous clips from both. After all the gangster stuff, it comes as a breath of fresh air to conclude the Scorsese story with films outside of his own genre.
Scorsese's most die-hard fans will certainly enjoy this look down memory lane, but others beware. As for the man's own perception of his film-making chores, don't expect too much illumination.
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