Archives For Martin Scorsese

I’ve been light on posts lately, though I promise I’ll be picking up the pace soon. In the mean time, in lieu of actually writing new material I’ve decided to re-post a piece from my old site. Hope you enjoy it.

SPOILERS! for Shutter Island coming up!

Shutter Island was released in 2010 to positive audience response and the highest opening weekend box office of any Scorsese-directed feature. Strangely, the film barely got a pass from the critical community. Many commented on the impeccable filmmaking employed by Scorsese, but it seems that many also dismissed the film as a piece of genre fluff with a cheap twist ending. Unfortunately this dismissal ignores the incredibly deep character study at work in Shutter Island, and the twist is simply the key to unlocking our protagonist’s disturbed psychological state.

Some films require only one viewing to fully appreciate, but I propose that Shutter Island is not one of those films. It’s a film that uses first impressions to unnerve the audience and provide a thrilling ride through the noir genre. A quick look beyond first impressions, though, reveals a complex examination of the nature of violence, madness, monstrosity and guilt. In fact, there’s so much guilt present in Shutter Island it probably represents the ultimate Catholic nightmare. A first viewing is perfectly fine for entertainment, but a second viewing is necessary is to discover all the detail hidden in each moment of the film before the climactic twist. Click to read more.

Movies are amazing. Clearly. Objectively. Also amazing is learning about movies. I love it. The history of cinema is almost as fascinating as the movies themselves. Maybe even more interesting. Take for example, Apocalypse Now. I consider it the greatest film I’ve ever seen, and likely ever made. Yet the story behind the making of Apocalypse Now is perhaps crazier, more engaging and more entertaining than even the film itself. I’m a sucker for making-of docs and informative commentaries, but I also love documentaries with a wider focus.

I just had the pleasure of watching the documentary series, A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies. It’s a long title for a long series. Three parts, roughly four hours in total. There is so much information and insight in those four hours it’s almost difficult to keep up. Scorsese includes countless clips from classics and forgotten classics of studio-era Hollywood. There is only one major problem with the film: it isn’t long enough. That four hours could have been twenty-four hours and it probably wouldn’t have satisfied me. Click to read more.