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A PERSONAL JOURNEY WITH MARTIN SCORSESE THROUGH AMERICAN MOVIES

USA, 1995 (MIFF 1995, Buried Treasures - The Century of Cinema)

Director: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson

When approached to direct the American contribution to the BFi's Century of Cinema project, Martin Scorsese (a natural choice given his remarkable film knowledge and passion) decided the only possible approach he could take was a distinctly personal, idiosyncratic memoir of what American movies have meant to him. And so we have almost four hours of rivet­ing Scorcese memories and observations, all Illustrated with carefully selected dips from the films in question.

The only point at which he trembles is when confronted by the task of considering the place of his own films within the American pantheon. Deciding that his objectivity is out-the-window once Scorsese—filmmaker enters the picture, he gracefully concludes this journey circa the early seventies.

As anyone who has read any of his writing on cinema (his films or those of others) will know, he may well be the ultimate cinema studies tutor. This personal journey certainly supports such a theory.

Martin Scorsese's masterly account of the world's largest and most powerful film industry balances between subjective enthusiasms and objective analysis. A genuinely personal voyage of discovery, it doesn't always follow the trails blazed by orthodox film historians. Sorcesese recalls that all kinds of movies had strong influ­ences and effects on him; not only the prestige titles from major directors and studios, but also the unsung B-movies in despised or underval­ued genres. What he responds to, and cele­brates, is film itself: the movies that make the fullest use of the medium's potential.

See also...

TYPICALLY BRITISH

UK, 1995
Francois Truffaut, Stephen Frears reminds us, once observed that the words 'British' and cinema' seemed incompatible. Frears' celebra­tion of one hundred years of British Cinema is an elegant and… More »

KOREAN CINEMA

Korea, 1995
... ... The film is founded on perception of the very close connection between Korea's modern history and the development of Korean cinema. Jang Sun-Woo's view of history negotiates its way around al… More »

CINEMA OF UNEASE - NEW ZEALAND CINEMA

New Zealand/UK, 1995
... ... Framed as a road movie chronicling a return trip to New Zealand, this film starts from the fact that Sam Neill, (the only director in the series for the century of cinema whose career is actu… More »

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