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BN

Ebert, Roger

Scorsese

Roger Ebert wrote the first film review that director Martin Scorsese ever received—for 1967’s I Call First—when both men were just embarking on their careers. Ebert had never been touched by a movie in quite the same way before, and this experience created a lasting bond that made him one of Scorsese’s most appreciative and perceptive commentators. Scorsese by Ebert offers the first record of America’s most respected film critic’s engagement with the works of America’s greatest living director. The book chronicles every single feature film in Scorsese’s considerable oeuvre, from his aforementioned debut to his 2008 release, the Rolling Stones documentary, Shine a Light.

Here Ebert puts Scorsese’s career in illuminating perspective, exploring the different phases of his development and the abiding themes (many of which reflect Scorsese’s Catholicism) that give his work such complexity and depth. All of Ebert’s incisive reviews of Scorsese’s individual films are here, of course, but there is much more. In the course of eleven interviews done over almost forty years, the book includes Scorsese’s own insights on both his accomplishments and disappointments. One of these interviews, the single longest ever conducted with Scorsese, appears here for the first time. Ebert has also written and included six new reconsiderations of the director’s less commented upon films, as well as a substantial introduction that provides a framework for understanding both Scorsese and his profound impact on American cinema.

As Scorsese himself notes in his foreword to this volume, history is the only critic that counts, but the dialogue from which its judgments arise begins with the kind of emotionally alert, historically informed, and intellectually honest writing that Ebert has collected here in this, the ideal pairing of filmmaker and critic.

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