Conversations with Scorsese

Richard Schickel, Knopf, $30 (448p) ISBN 978-0-307-26840-2
In this q&a-format biography, film critic and documentary filmmaker Schickel follows one of America's greatest directors on a journey through his life in cinema. An asthmatic, sickly child, Scor-sese used movies to escape from family tensions and the mean streets of New York's Little Italy. In a career now in its fifth decade, Scorsese has made over 20 feature films (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, etc.) as well as numerous documentaries. A cross between a film master class and after-hours jam session, the conversations range from Scorsese's Italian upbringing to Hollywood gossip to obscure silent films. Scorsese and Schickel's long friendship and their encyclopedic film knowledge bring a comfort and complexity to their interaction. Scorsese has always been a fluid raconteur, and Schickel brings out the best in him—not least of all because he's confident enough to disagree with the master. Scorsese's focus on the minutiae of his life and in his movies has given his work universal appeal. Anyone with even a passing interest in Scorsese's career or in film history will find a gem on every page. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/10/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
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