A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies Reviews

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½ August 20, 2015
Fascinating introduction to pre 1960's American cinema from one of the masters.
June 12, 2014
Simply put, it's a small movie course in film history. The level of information to take in is scary. So for anyone interested in filmmaking,this is a must watch.
It also increases your love for Scorsese. Its really shows how much knowledge he has about the art form and how he uses a philosophy behind every single one of his shots.
March 10, 2014
For any film nut or Scorsese fan, this is a dream movie. No one goes into the history of movies and each genre with such interest and passion as Mr. Scorsese himself.
February 23, 2014
Partially directed and hosted by Martin Scorsese, this 4 hour long documentary is Martin Scorsese taking you through several films that have influenced him over the years, that inspired him and made him the great filmmaker he became. Scorsese has a passion for film and cinema more than probably any of his contemporaries. Tarantino's passion is the only filmmaker of the more modern era who seems to rival him now for passion. This is an interesting look at American filmmaking, with one of the great auteurs (who has a passion that makes the subject come alive) taking you through it all.
February 10, 2014
my first lessons in film school came from Scorsese - and this at a formative age even more than his features. there are still movies I've yet to see from this bunch, and it's a treasure trove of suggestions, from the obvious masterpieces (Kubrick, Ford) to obscurities (Colorado Territory). I probably wouldn't know who Allan Dwan, Andre DeToth or Samuel Fuller were if not for this.
November 7, 2013
It's hard to really get just how intelligent Martin Scorsese is until you meet him face-to-face. I recommend this documentary to anyone who likes movies and is interested in how they have been made through the years.
June 3, 2013
The Seminary of Cinema

I'm not a huge fan of Martin Scorsese films. I don't dislike them, particularly, but he doesn't make movies for me. He makes Guy Movies. Oh, some of them are fine Guy Movies, and it's more than a little surprising that it took until 2006 for him to finally win an Oscar of his own (though most of the films he lost to have been excellent), and there are even one or two that I haven't gotten to yet and am seriously looking forward to. However, he and Coppola are both directors who make great movies that I don't like very much. Similar movies that I don't like very much, come to that. However, little though I may like his movies, I have to say that I'm extremely impressed by his knowledge of film history. It's come up in a couple of things that I've reviewed over the years, and I have to say, he's my prime example that a good director must know their film history in order to do a really good job--even if I don't always like the result.

When he was four years old, his mother took him to see [i]Duel in the Sun[/i] (or [i]Lust in the Dust[/i], as it is popularly known), because she wanted to see it herself but didn't want to admit it, and young Marty liked Westerns. He was fascinated by it in a way few four-year-olds would be. (I didn't finish it, myself; it's extremely silly.) For years afterward, he still thought he wanted to be a priest, but in reality, his future was set. What he is doing here is laying out how the films he saw shaped the films he later made. Some of them were movies he saw in revival, and some of them were movies he saw in initial release. It's obvious that he didn't know all of what he discusses here when he watched these movies as a child, but it's equally obvious that he worked out that it was what he needed to know in order to make good films himself. After all, you have to know who to imitate, if nothing else, and why people make the decisions they do.

Oh, don't get me wrong; I don't like all the movies he references here, either. As I said, I never did finish [i]Duel in the Sun[/i]. I finished [i]One, Two, Three[/i], but I thought it was considerably less clever and satirical than he did. Film is, as I think he points out but as I'm certain he knows, as individual as any other art. What moves me is not what moves you, and indeed, I can even see his point when he discusses what struck him about certain movies that I did not myself like. I think one of the truly important steps in being a good art critic, no matter what art you're critiquing, is learning how to tell "I don't like it" from "it's not any good." Both of them are valuable pieces of information, but they aren't actually the same thing. Now, the miniseries primarily focuses on films that Scorsese likes and that he thinks are good, and that's the way it should be. This is, after all, a [i]personal[/i] journey. But he's at least good enough to give you an idea of why he thinks the way he does.

Another valuable piece of the miniseries is his examination of what it means to direct a film and how that's shaped by the studio requirements. It's clear that he's too smart to believe in an unleavened [i]auteur[/i] theory. He may rhapsodize about the style Vincente Minnelli developed, but he also discusses the "house styles" of the various studios in the days of the studio system. There's only so much an [i]auteur[/i] could do in the hands of Daryl Zanuck, after all. I mean, these days, Francis Ford Coppola doesn't need the studios; he's got wine. (True--he has started paying for his pictures with the proceeds of the winery, which is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.) However, there was a time when even just having final cut was so rare that only Charlie Chaplin had it--and he'd helped found his own studio. It seems one of the most important lessons a director can learn is that someone else is usually going to have more control than you.

I'm not thrilled at how close the closeup on Scorsese is when they're doing just interviews with him. However, the clips are generally well chosen, and he has interesting and articulate things to say. I wish I could have ever had the chance to sit in on a conversation about movie history with him and Roger; they both knew a ton and could speak about it intelligently and with enthusiasm. There are worse ways to learn about the history of cinema than to listen to either of them, and listening to both would have been incredible. And again, I really do seriously believe that anyone planning to make their own films ought to learn about what went before. [i]Birth of a Nation[/i] is hard to watch, but you still ought to at least once. And, of course, that's just a start. There's an interesting comparison of [i]Stagecoach[/i], [i]She Wore a Yellow Ribbon[/i], and [i]The Searchers[/i] that's worth watching all on its own. This cuts off when Scorsese started making his own films, but it's still a good place to start.
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2013
Martin Scorsese is a living movie library.
April 5, 2013
Eine 4-Stunden Doku über Filme produziert und erzählt von Martin Scorsese. Was will man mehr!?

Vier Stunden scheinen eine lange Zeit zu sein einem einzelnen Mann zuzuhören, wie er über seine Lieblingsfilme und Einflüsse erzählt. Dieser Mann ist jedoch kein geringerer als Martin Scorsese, einer der renommiertesten lebenden Regisseur der Welt (und nebenbei ein Film-Buff vor dem Herren). Was er zu sagen hat, ist gleichzeitig außergewöhnlich interessant und unterhaltsam. Der Mann versteht etwas von seinem Fach und kann aus einem schier unermesslichen Fundus an filmischen Erinnerungsstücken schöpfen.

Ich denke, es ist schwierig einen Film zu finden, der mehr Filmausschnitte aus anderen Werken verwendet als dieser. Die Ausschnitte wirken nie irritierend, sondern dienen immer der Untermalung von Scorseses voice-over Schilderungen.

Der Filmfan sei jedoch gewarnt. So viele Ausschnitte und Empfehlungen von höchster Stelle, lassen natürlich auch die Liste an Filmen auf der watch-list" anschwellen.
Scorsese behandelt über 50 Jahre an Filmgeschichte und pickt sich dabei seine persönlichen Rosinen heraus. Er spricht über Bekanntes und Altbewährtes, aber auch über B-Movies und zu Unrecht vergessene Klassiker.

Der Betrachter erkennt wie viel Liebe und Herzblut in diesem Projekt steckt, und dass Scorsese hier nicht einfach die Zeilen aus einem Skript rezitiert, sondern wirkliche Emotionen und Erinnerungen hinter seinen Anekdoten stecken.
So viel man nämlich über die Filme erfährt, so viel erfährt man auch über den Filmemacher und die Privatperson Martin Scorsese, auch aus dieser Perspektive ist der Film natürlich höchstinteressant.

Das Format bringt allerdings auch mit sich, dass filmisch nicht sehr viel herauszuholen ist. Der Film besteht im Grunde genommen nur aus Filmausschnitte und Scorsese Close-Ups. Die Arbeit von Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorseses langjährige Cutterin, ist einmal mehr zu bewundern und hier einfacher erkennbar als in vielen anderen seiner Filme.
½ February 9, 2013
A film buffs wet dream.
½ January 8, 2013
if u've any interest in film industry for whatever reason then u'll find this documentary interesting or even useful, i appreciate the effort of Martin Scorsese who put all this pieces together and share his toughs about the journey of American Movies to date :)
½ January 5, 2013
A very atypical look at the history of cinema. It could definitely be boring at times with a near 4 hour length, but I learned a lot.
½ November 14, 2012
I learned about so many American films thanks to this movie!
½ October 21, 2012
Film is one of the most beauty art of the world. Thank you to Martin Scorsese :)
Super Reviewer
August 20, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2012
Film class is in session, take notes.
June 18, 2012
el hombre construye sus caminos
Super Reviewer
May 23, 2012
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.
½ March 21, 2012
Seeing this will tell you as much about Scorsese's infuences as it will about American movies. Would love to see his thoughts about the foreign cinema.
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