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A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995)

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Release Date: Jan 1, 1995 Wide

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96

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Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 1,908

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Movie Info

In 1994, the British Film Institute commissioned a set of films to mark the centenary of the movies. They would trace the history of several national cinemas, and the BFI's choice for interpreting the history of American film fell to director Martin Scorsese, a longtime champion of film history and preservation. Scorsese's approach to his subject is director-centered, as he examines the tension inherent in the struggle of an artist wishing to make a personal statement against the collaborative

Sep 12, 2000

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (0) | DVD (6)

For a thorough overview of film history and the art behind films ... can be no better guide than Martin Scorsese

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Obviously, the man knows his movies.

August 20, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Essential and joyful--a real blast.

March 8, 2008
ColeSmithey.com

Film buffs will savor Scorsese's enthusiasm for the medium and his championing of those who remained true to their vision.

March 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Watching this documentary, we not only raise our appreciation for film art in general, but we also better understand Scorsese's vision in particular.

November 26, 2001 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A dizzying and tantalizing skate across the surface of a deep and wonderful lake.

November 14, 2001 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

Audience Reviews for A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

Back in 1994, Martin Scorsese and Michael Henry Wilson decided to co-write and co-direct a near 4 hour series, hosted by Scorsese, about the history of American cinema, though done through the films, genres, and directors that personally struck a chord with Marty the most. It was an ambitious idea, and the resulting film is a real treat for cinema lovers everywhere.

Yeah, Marty only covers from silent filmsthrough the 1950s, with only a few entries from the 60s and 70s getting touched upon, and the genres are limited to primarily westerns, gangster films, and musicals for the most part, but this all gets made up for by Scorsese's obvious love, passion, and enthusiasm for the subject, and due ot the fact that, unlike a lot of documentaries, the clips that are shown here are often rather lengthy, and are given time to breathe, whether Scorsese talks over parts of them or not. Seriously, these clips sometimes go on for a few minutes at a time. Of course, along with this come a great many spoilers for the films he covers in depth, but if you've already seen them, then it's okay.

Even though the scope and depth in the broadest sense are limited, the fine print is where this film really shines, and why it happens to be nearly 4 hours long. Divided into parts, Scorsese looks at the changes within select genres over the years, the various factors related to those genres, and the effects this all had on movies and society at large. He also looks at technical innovations, social factors, and the messages, both discreet and overt, that directors threw in to really shape their visions.

It's basically a film class, taught by a real master, where you don't have to take tests or pay for textbooks. It's enjoyable and highly informative, and just listening to Scorsese ramble is a great pleasure in and of itself. If you love movies, then you really out to see this.
August 20, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Film class is in session, take notes.
July 22, 2012
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

a joy to watch. scorsese is an encyclopedia of film knowledge and believes that cinema fulfills a spiritual need. his passion and intelligence make this fascinating viewing for film buffs. it's not meant to be a complete history, just a catalog of some mostly lesser-known films that made a lasting impression on him, beginning with duel in the sun, age 4! he could've easily gone on for four more hours with no complaints from me; in fact i wish he had :D
March 17, 2009
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

What a very well written and produced documentary. I loved every minute of this and it was very interesting to hear what the best director in film had to say. Their is not much to talk about his except that he kind of spoiled a couple of films I been meaning to watch. Well, that's what I get for watching a film that considers it self a journey. I also really liked the song they would play at the beginning and end credits. It was so classy and elegant. So to end this really short review I would like to say for all the cinephiles out their you have to watch this. Their is no exception.
May 23, 2012
Eduardo Tobias

Super Reviewer

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