We continue the 5 by 5 film series this week with number two, The Artist;
I can’t offer any new insights into the work of Martin Scorcese. His films have been picked-over, picked-at and picked clean by smarter bloggers than I. But in my opinion, he is an artist on par with any of the masters; the painters, the sculptors, the poets, the magicians.
He is an exceptional storyteller.
Taxi Driver is an under-rated work of art. I’m not being facetious. With all the accolades and all the praise and the historical and artistic importance attributed to the movie. It does not get enough credit.
Raging Bull (1980)
Raging Bull, however, is not under-rated. It has been analyzed to within an inch of its life. And though it deserves every award and ever honor it has received. I would rather watch it than read about it.
After Hours (1985)
After Hours is my favorite of Scorcese’s films. I remember thinking when I first saw it that it was a departure for him. I remember thinking that I would have to put After Hours and later King of Comedy in a different class of Scorcese film. But then I realized that this thing; This sideways glance at twisted people. This love story to the brilliantly and beautifully “off kilter” was what he had been doing all along. It is, in effect, who he is: Brilliantly & Beautifully Off Kilter.
Goodfellas is one of those perfect films. There aren’t many. Enjoyable on so many levels. It’s funny, it’s exciting, it’s dramatic and suspenseful and scary and romantic. It’s all movies. It’s all things. Usually when a film tries to be too many things, it’s doomed to fail miserably. But when it succeeds you get that perfect film. Goodfellas is one of those perfect films. There aren’t many. Enjoyable on so many levels.
Kundun – Epic. Beautiful. Powerful. Genuine. Classic. Transcendent. A spiritual awakening on film. In the telling, in the making, in the watching… in the experience. I could not make a list of Martin Scorcese masterworks without it. He has many films that are critically and technically better but none as important (at least to me).
Martin Scorcese is an artist in the classic sense. He is the greatest living filmmaker. The list of his masterworks goes on… Casino, Age of Innocence, Mean Streets, Last Temptation of Christ, Gangs of New York, Cape Fear. And he’s still going strong. We are lucky enough to live in the age of Scorcese. A fact not to be taken for granted as we patiently await his next work of art.