Tag Archives: Martin Scorsese

Remembering Michael Ballhaus

Noted cinematographer Michael Ballhaus died a month ago at the age of 81, and sadly I never got around to writing a blog entry about him. But now is a time as good as any. Every time a respected, influential artist in the film community who isn’t a famous actor or director passes away, it’s … Continue reading Remembering Michael Ballhaus

Mean Streets

WELCOME… BUT DON’T BREAK THE RULES! Charlie Cappa (Harvey Keitel) is looking forward to a career in the Mafia with help from his uncle (Cesare Danova), but his relationships with best friend Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro), a perpetual screw-up, and an epileptic girl (Amy Robinson) stand in the way. Martin Scorsese’s breakthrough is considered … Continue reading Mean Streets

Andrzej Wajda, 1926-2016

In the clip above, from the 2000 Oscars, Jane Fonda presents Polish director Andrzej Wajda with his honorary Oscar. One of the great filmmakers and the key figure in the so-called “Polish Film School”, Wajda passed away today at the age of 90. Modern audiences may recognize Wajda’s name from Katyn (2007), the powerful film that portrayed … Continue reading Andrzej Wajda, 1926-2016

Abbas Kiarostami, the Face of Iran

Four days ago we lost Abbas Kiarostami, who died in Paris at the age of 76 after battling cancer. The Iranian director may not be terribly known to most people, but cineastes all over the world mourned his passing. And his story is well worth telling. In the clip above, an interview with Kiarostami in … Continue reading Abbas Kiarostami, the Face of Iran

The Grifters

SEDUCTION. BETRAYAL. MURDER. WHO’S CONNING WHO? Veteran con artist Lilly Dillon (Anjelica Huston) meets her son (John Cusack) for the first time in eight years and realizes that he’s been seriously hurt; after getting him to a hospital, she meets his mysterious girlfriend (Annette Bening)… The same year as Martin Scorsese directed GoodFellas, he also … Continue reading The Grifters

Life Itself: Ebert’s Four-Star Journey

THE ONLY THING ROGER LOVED MORE THAN THE MOVIES.   I first approached this film because of my interest in movies and as a fan of Roger Ebert as a film critic. Would it appeal to someone who didn’t care about movies or was this simply an experience for a very small crowd? I didn’t … Continue reading Life Itself: Ebert’s Four-Star Journey

Trespassing Bergman

  Edited together (with partly new material) from a documentary series, this film examines (in chronological order) the career and films of Ingmar Bergman through the eyes of numerous prominent filmmakers and actors who have been more or less touched by the Master’s work. Some of them also visit the stark island in Sweden where … Continue reading Trespassing Bergman

The Wolf of Wall Street

  After the Black Monday stock market crash in 1987, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) finds the perfect little boiler room to start over and turn into a rapidly successful brokerage firm, with a steady supply of money, champagne and cocaine. In Martin Scorsese and Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter’s hands, the real-life story of convicted … Continue reading The Wolf of Wall Street

Woody Allen: A Documentary

  Originally shown as a two-part event on the PBS show American Masters, this is Robert B. Weide’s fourth documentary on comedians, a frequently entertaining and engrossing look at one of the hardest working men in showbiz. Over the course of three hours we learn what motivates him, what makes him great and how he … Continue reading Woody Allen: A Documentary

What Scorsese Should Do Next

  Some of you may have read about the scandal that is currently shaking China. The PBS clip above has The Asia Society’s Orville Schell talking about the implications of the Bo Xilai affair. For those of you who fell asleep just by the mention of PBS, allow me to boil it down to a … Continue reading What Scorsese Should Do Next

The Last Waltz: End of the Road

IT STARTED AS A CONCERT. IT BECAME A CELEBRATION.   “The Last Waltz was the biggest fuckin’ rip-off that ever happened to The Band.” That was how drummer and vocalist Levon Helm felt about Martin Scorsese’s famous concert movie back in 1993 when he wrote his memoirs. Apparently, he was jealous of Robbie Robertson’s elevated position … Continue reading The Last Waltz: End of the Road