Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kathryn Bigelow, Frank Capra, John Cassavetes, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, André De Toth, Clint Eastwood, John Ford, Samuel Fuller, Howard Hawks, Elia Kazan, Fritz Lang, George Lucas, Gregory Peck, Arthur Penn, Nicholas Ray, Douglas Sirk, King Vidor, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder
Written by: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson
Directed by: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 225
Date: 05/21/1995

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

4 Stars (out of 4)

Movie Orgy

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Directed by Martin Scorsese, this four hour documentary was made for British TV and shown sporadically in theaters before thankfully being released on home video. Scorsese appears and narrates clips from about 100 movies, and shows older interviews with legendary filmmakers. Essentially, it's a history of American movies, but Scorsese only discuss films that affect him personally. So instead of Gone with the Wind or The Sound of Music, we get refreshing gems like Jacques Tourneur's Cat People and Vincente Minnelli's Meet Me in St. Louis. Scorsese is considered by many to be the greatest filmmaker working today, and his enthusiasm for film is easily as big as his talent. Watching this documentary, we not only raise our appreciation for film art in general, but we also better understand Scorsese's vision in particular. I cannot better recommend a single movie for those who love or want to learn about film. In her 1975 review of Nashville, Pauline Kael asked, "Is there such as thing as an orgy for movie lovers?" If there is, this is it. Personal Journey's only drawback is that it ends too soon. The late, great Saul Bass provided the film's titles.

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