Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Film

I put it on documentaries i think will be boring to fall asleep to.  Something about narrated educational films on bobcats or Alaskan wilderness knocks me right out.  I had assumed that this flick from 1995 would be similar, I mean, how good could a 4 hour film about one guy's favorite movies be? Incredibly good, and very unfortunate for my sleep schedule that day.

Everybody and their mother talks in this documentary from Clint Eastwood to Gregory Peck to Billy Wilder.  They go into how the studio system worked, how movies become mainstream, the struggle for artistic freedoms, and go over a million movies, half of which I'd never even heard of and am now desperately searching for.

I don't know why i assumed this would be boring.  Scorsese's a great story teller, and this is no exception. Instead of going through the usual suspects year by year, he breaks it up by subject and why it's important to him.  It's not totally through the eyes of a director, he's obviously a huge fan who is very knowledgeable on all things cinema, and I was so happy with its educational value as he gives us a behind the scenes look at what it took to get some films made, what they had to deal with in the studio system, and the huge, huge, list of obscure films. I was also happy that he didn't favorite his personal influences like the Welle's and Hitchcock touches in Scorsese's films.  He touches base objectively across a wide spread of styles and genres.

Its all over YouTube and if you have DVD service with Netflix you can order it (they took it off instant queue, bummer).  make sure you have 4 hours to kill, you won't want to turn it off once you start.  This is my far the most educational doc I've seen, ever.

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