Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

30 January 2005

Scorsese Riff

So I had posted this whole riff on Scorsese yesterday, but I can't seem to find it. It doesn't show up on my page and I can't find it saved anywhere on my computer.

The gist of my post was spawned by watching The Last Temptation of Christ yesterday, a movie I found boring and far too David Lynch for my tastes. I see why Scorsese got an Academy Award nomination for the film, but in the 80s, the Academy was all about David Lynch (I guess they still are to a certain extent for some odd reason.) At any rate, my question comes from a conversation that and I had a couple of days ago. We all say we like Scorsese, and he is a lot of people's "favorite" director etc. But when we say that, what are we substantially talking about? Do we really like his films?

Who's That Knocking at My Door?
Boxcar Bertha
Mean Streets
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Taxi Driver
New York, New York
Raging Bull
The King of Comedy
After Hours
The Color of Money
The Last Temptation of Christ
New York Stories
GoodFellas
Cape Fear
The Age of Innocence
Casino
Kundun
Bringing Out the Dead
Gangs of New York
The Aviator

Okay, there are twenty films on that list: those are all of his narrative features. Now, honestly, how many of those movies do you like? How many do you love? How many would you watch again? How many have you even seen? Seriously.
I have seen twelve of the above twenty features. Of those twelve, I like nine. Of those nine, I would be willing to re-watch three for fun.

My personal verdict for Scorsese is that while I really respect a lot of his films, I think of him as a first-rate, though uneven director, whose choice in subject matter is hit or miss. And though he has made twenty narrative films, I only really love three of them.

That's not really that good of a track-record.