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 & shoulder shots of Scorsese speaking into the camera for a minute or two, followed by 10-15 minutes of film clips with Scorsese voice-over. Scorsese approaches the films in terms of how they affected him as a director foremost and as a storyteller/film fan second. Segments include "The Director as Smuggler," "The Director as Iconoclast", and so on. The Journey begins with silent masters like D.W. Griffith and ends in 1969 - when Scorsese began to make films; as he says in closing, "I wouldn't feel right commenting on myself or my contemporaries."Written by
Martin Scorsese - Narrator:
There is action only if there is danger. This was ssaid by Howard Hawks, who was an authority on both the Western and the gangster film. To stay alive or die - this is our greatest danger.
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A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies
I was in danger of getting a neck cramp watching this movie, from all the nodding I was doing. Nodding in agreement with Scorsese's observations and especially his choice of films. It might have been called "A Personal Journey Through My DVD Collection" as he touched on many of my personal favorites, too many to start listing. His selection avoids many of the obvious milestones and leans towards the more obscure (although in the DVD era, most of them are widely available and now highly-regarded), especially when it comes to my beloved film noir. His passion is clear, his knowledge is thorough, and his comments are insightful. The documentary flows nicely, although occasionally he dwells on a certain clip or movie for too long. I can't say I learned a lot from this movie, but I did pick up a couple of new titles to check out, and it should be a fantastic intro for blossoming film buffs.
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