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Scorsese - Master of urban epics


#1

People, I just watched my new Taxi Driver DVD, and it just blew me away!!!



The visuals are so brilliant! all the colors, the set up, the lights. A masterpiece!



And the acting and the music! I just love that film!



I am glad that I already ordered Mean Streets, now I can’t wait to get more Scorsese. I hope GoodFellas gets re-released soon because the current DVD is a flipper.



damn Scorsese rocks, i hope GONY can take up to those high expectations. if not, its maybe Miramax’s fault, and we’ll have to wait for a director’s cut


#2

[quote]People, I just watched my new Taxi Driver DVD, and it just blew me away!!!



The visuals are so brilliant! all the colors, the set up, the lights. A masterpiece!



And the acting and the music! I just love that film!



I am glad that I already ordered Mean Streets, now I can’t wait to get more Scorsese. I hope GoodFellas gets re-released soon because the current DVD is a flipper.



damn Scorsese rocks, i hope GONY can take up to those high expectations. if not, its maybe Miramax’s fault, and we’ll have to wait for a director’s cut[/quote]

Great film! Taxi Driver is a masterpiece of cinema.



Yep Scorsese is the master, I love ALL his films. If you loved Taxi Driver and GoodFellas, you’ll really like Mean Streets too. Thats one of his best films. Robert DeNiro is fuckin hilarious in it. Harvey Keitel is great as Charlie. Watch out for David Carradine and his brother Robert in small roles in the bar. Its a smaller film, but you can see the origins of Scorsese’s style. It all began with Mean Streets.


#3

I LOVE Scorsese. I even love his “bad” films. Has anyone seen New York, New York? I’d heard such bad things about it that I expected it to be really bad but it’s actually pretty good. It’s not as brilliant as it could have been, but it doesn’t deserve all the flak it’s received.


#4

well but its a real musical, right?


#5

[quote]I LOVE Scorsese. I even love his “bad” films. Has anyone seen New York, New York? I’d heard such bad things about it that I expected it to be really bad but it’s actually pretty good. It’s not as brilliant as it could have been, but it doesn’t deserve all the flak it’s received.[/quote]

Yeah I’m not really a fan of musicals, but New York New York isnt a bad film at all. I like to see all of my favorite director’s films no matter how I feel about them. Scorsese is one of my most favorite directors. I’ve seen every one of his films except his earliest black and white films like: Its not Just You Murray, Whos That Knocking at My Door and his short films like The Big Shave, American Boy etc.



Some other Scorsese films that arent from the crime genre you should check out:



Alice Doesnt Live Here Anymore: The film that inspired the TV Show Alice

The Last Waltz (the best rock concert film EVER)

Last Temptation of Christ: One of his most controversial and brilliant films

Kundun : About the Dali Lama

After Hours: a bizarre Twilight Zone-esque comedy

King of Comedy: a hilarious film with one of DeNiros best characters Rupert Pupkin!


#6

How about “BOXCAR BERTHA”?

Have you guys seen that one?


#7

[quote]How about “BOXCAR BERTHA”?

Have you guys seen that one?
[/quote]

I have Boxcar Bertha on DVD. Its probably the least “Scorsese” film of his entire career. He made it for Roger Corman (king of the B-movies) at American International Pictures. Its a film set in the Depression. Kinda Bonnie and Clyde-esque mixed with some Dillinger. It even stars Bill himself: David Carradine. :slight_smile:


#8

I saw “Boxcar Bertha” when it was on the TV recently. It’s got David Carradine in it but I found it very strange and hippy like probably because it was made around that time. I’m sorry to admit it but I found it boring although it has its moments such as the robbery part. I thought the acting overall was ok though. A little slow. Compared to the other movies of his that I’ve seen this is my least favorite. Is it even out on DVD? I might be inclined to buy it if I was a completist. 8)


#9

[quote]I saw “Boxcar Bertha” when it was on the TV recently. ÊIt’s got David Carradine in it but I found it very strange and hippy like probably because it was made around that time. ÊI’m sorry to admit it but I found it boring although it has its moments such as the robbery part. ÊI thought the acting overall was ok though. ÊA little slow. ÊCompared to the other movies of his that I’ve seen this is my least favorite. ÊIs it even out on DVD? ÊI might be inclined to buy it if I was a completist. 8)[/quote]

Yeah, your right about it being kinda strange and hippyish. Like I was saying its probably the least Scorsese-esque film he ever did really. Well, actually Alice doesnt Live Here anymore wasnt verey Scorsese either.



After Scorsese finished Boxcar Bertha, he showed it to John Cassevettes (one of the pioneers of independent cinema, great actor too). Cassevettes asked Scorsese “Why are you doing this shit for?”. Scorsese realized that he wasnt being true to himself as an artist. So then he did Mean Streets. That film was pure Scorsese. Cassevettes was one of those great people that saw Scorsese’s talents and his potential. He didnt want to see him wasting it doing b-movies.



Dont get me wrong, B-movies have their place in cinema as we all know. But he knew Scorsese wasnt meant to be that kind of director.


#10

what about RAGING BULL?


#11

i haven’t seen Raging Bull yet, but I wouldn’t call a boxer-film necessarily an “urban epic”…


#12

An epic is a film that has a large production scale AND has a longer running time than most films.



Some examples of epics:



Ben Hur

Dr Zhivago

The Godfather

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Scarface

Dances With Wolves


  • Raging Bull is a biographical film about Jake LaMotta, a boxer who had severe emotional, psychological problems outside the ring. Most of it was due to his insecurities and his self hatred. He damaged everyone around him. Hence, the title of the film.



    Scorsese said that he found that the boxing ring was really a metaphor for LaMotta’s entire life. He was always fighting, whether it be another boxer, his friends or his family.

#13

Raging Bull took place in the city. Jake grows up in Brooklyn. I feel that any film as powerful and epic not in it’s scope but in it’s portrayal of a boxer’s life as well as violence can be an epic and in the same boat as Godfather and Dances With Wolves regardless of the RUNNING TIME. The running time is irrevelent to judge a film by. A great film can be 90 minutes(Reservoir Dogs) or 900 minutes You get my point. I hope I have defended the honor of Raging Bull


#14

[quote]Raging Bull took place in the city. Jake grows up in Brooklyn. I feel that any film as powerful and epic not in it’s scope but in it’s portrayal of a boxer’s life as well as violence can be an epic and in the same boat as Godfather and Dances With Wolves regardless of the RUNNING TIME. ÊThe running time is irrevelent to judge a film by. A great film can be 90 minutes(Reservoir Dogs) or 900 minutes You get my point. I hope I have defended the honor of Raging Bull [/quote]

Defending the honor of Raging Bull? You gotta be kidding me.



I’m talking an official Hollywood Epic here, not whether the film is epic in the portrayal of someones life or violence.



Raging Bull is not an “Epic” in the classic sense of the word. What does Brooklyn have to do with a film being an Epic?



A Hollywood Epic is a film that is just what I said, its very large in scope and in running time. And YES running time does have something to do with a film being considered an epic.



There IS a difference between a film like Spartacus or Dr Zhivago and a film like Mean Streets or Raging Bull. Its right there on the screen.



And Reservoir Dogs IS NOT a Hollywood Epic. I love the film, but it isnt an epic. Its a small film. Its the opposite of an epic.



Dude, get a clue.


#15

i only partially agree with you guys.


  1. running time doesn’t matter, i think even a short film can be epic.


  2. dogs isn’t an epic


  3. an epic’s features are: aspect ratio (anamorphic processing, not just the dvd); cinematography (you need a master for that); color and lighting; imagery; actors; music.

    some examples: Last of the Mohicans, Once Upon a Time in America… I would even throw The Thin Red Line into the pot, but thats a matter of argument and not the discussion here.

#16

[quote]i only partially agree with you guys.


  1. running time doesn’t matter, i think even a short film can be epic.


  2. an epic’s features are: aspect ratio (anamorphic processing, not just the dvd); cinematography (you need a master for that); color and lighting; imagery; actors; music.

    some examples: Last of the Mohicans, Once Upon a Time in America… ÊI would even throw The Thin Red Line into the pot, but thats a matter of argument and not the discussion here.[/quote]

Seb you just answered the question. You said Running time doesnt matter, but you just named a bunch of films that are all long in running time.



When you hear the word “Epic” do you think “Im gonna be watching an hour and a half film?” Probably not.



You think “Im gonna be watching a 3 1/2 hour HUGE PRODUCTION, with big crane shots, tons of extras, wide open spaces, big sweeping music scores”. Right?



Examples:



Gangs of NY is an Epic.



The Last Emperor is an Epic.



The Good The Bad and The Ugly is an Epic.



Hero is an Epic.



Dances With Wolves is an Epic.



I think you can see what I mean.


#17

So are you saying The Star Wars crap and The Lord of the Rings are Epic films???


#18

[quote]So are you saying The Star Wars crap and The Lord of the Rings are Epic films???[/quote]

Yes, Id consider those films sci fi Epics. They are a series of films that have big productions, are in a bigger scope than most films. I’m not sure of the running times, but the Star Wars films combined must take a day to watch. LOTR must take all day to watch combined.



The Matrix is an Epic as well, because there is 3 parts to the story.


#19

defnitely not. well, i think Lord of the rings is really close, but its a bit too mainstream for that. the book surely is.



it has to be just the epic feeling to it. and i still think that lenth doesnt matter because all the features vic and me mentioned could be applied to a short film, too. Leone could have directed a short film of epic scale.


#20

Ive talked to several people about this subject and right now we all agree that for a film to be an “Epic” there are 3 main factors:


  1. The scope of the film (production and scope size)
  2. The running time (Epics dont usually have short running times)
  3. A continuing story over several films. (Films like Star Wars, LOTR, The Matrix)



    The purpose of An Epic story is to create a bigger than usual film.



    Seb, Sergio Leone never made an Epic film that was an hour and a half long. Just watch his films, youll see.



    I hope this clears things up.