The Films of Martin Scorsese: Gangsters, Greed, and Guilt

November 1, 2020
The Films of Martin Scorsese: Gangsters, Greed, and Guilt

Few mainstream filmmakers have as pronounced a disregard for thesupposed rules of filmmaking as Martin Scorsese. His inventivenessdisplays a reaction against the “right” way to make a movie,frequently eschewing traditional cinematic language in favor ofsomething flashy, unexpected and contrary to the way “proper” filmsare done. Yet despite this, he’s become one of the most influentialdirectors of the last fifty years, a critical darling (thoughrarely a box office titan), and a fan favorite.On the surface, Scorsese’s work is defined by shocking violenceand rampant profanity. These are often loud, brash films thatappear to glorify the worst kinds of people. He makes heroes ofmobsters, thugs, con men, and murderers. Yet dig deeper and youfind the true beating heart of his oeuvre: guilt, collapse,self-destruction, spiritual turmoil, and the complicatedhypocrisies of faith, among other themes that are a constant in hiswork.In this book, San Juan guides readers through the crooks, themobsters, the loners, the moguls, and the nobodies of Scorsese's26-movie filmography. The Films of Martin Scorsese examines thetechniques that have made him one of the most innovative directorsin history: needle-drop soundtracks, outbursts of violence, daringcamera work, and more. The book further looks at the themes thatare the engine driving all of this, including themes ofself-sabotage, alienation, faith, and guilt.What is Martin Scorsese trying to tell us through his work? Canwe learn something about the human conditions via works like TaxiDriver, Raging Bull, GoodFellas, and The Irishman?With that goal in mind, between these covers you’ll find fodderfor discussion, dissection, and debate, all of it driven byinsightful-yet-approachable analysis of Martin Scorsese’s entirefilmography, from 1967s Who’s That Knocking At My Door? to 2019’sThe Irishman, as well as carefully chosen excerpts from fivedecades worth of Martin Scorsese interviews and rarebehind-the-scenes photos.