No Savior for the Raging Bull

Review of Raging Bull, directed by Martin ScorseseIf tragedy is the story of a noble man undone by a singular flaw, Raging Bull is no tragedy: Jake LaMotta is ignoble--obsessive, jealous, mean, petty, insecure, violent, and ungrateful. His downfall--the story of Raging Bull, based on his true-life memoir--is the simple function of what a terrible person he is, not of a tragic flaw in an otherwise admirable character. That such a film could be made and be so universally admired suggests that … [Read more...]

The Wolf of Wall Street and the New American Dream

Review of The Wolf of Wall Street, Directed by Martin Scorsese Martin Scorsese’s newest release, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), is a chilling tale of amorality gone wild that has more to say than drugs, sex, and money. The movie is based on the eponymous memoir of Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), who was indicted for securities fraud and money laundering in 1998. The movie opens in 1987 when Belfort joins the brokerage L.F. Rothschild and cold calls hundreds a day to solicit in … [Read more...]

Martin Scorsese on Film Preservation and the Future of Movies

Review of Scorsese's Jefferson LectureThe National Endowment for the Humanities selected filmmaker Martin Scorsese to deliver its 2013 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, a distinction NEH calls “the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.”Speaking to an audience at the Kennedy Center in April in Washington, D.C.—and to a worldwide audience that could access the lecture online as Scorsese delivered it—the filmmaker passio … [Read more...]