‘Raging Bull’ Review: Martin Scorsese at His Most Difficult, Taxing, and Personal

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Nothing better defines the traits of a Martin Scorsese film than the grief, guilt, and anger of his own subjects – and Raging Bull is his most brash film of the sort. In telling the story of the self-destructive boxer’s life, Martin Scorsese does not hold back from showing you the sort of person that Jake La Motta was, but the film also strikes its own viewers in that same manner which Taxi Driver had done so: you can’t help but feel drawn to the entire world around La Motta feeling sorry for everyone around him, but also through means of confronting La Motta at his absolute worst. All of this would be more than enough to define what is arguably the most difficult film of Martin Scorsese’s career, but it also resulted in one of his finest films too.

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Last Minute Criterion Suggestions from Us

There’s only a few days left of the half-off sale from the Criterion Collection. If you’re a newcomer to the home video line, all of those selections can look daunting and you’ll probably stand there for a good while trying to decide what to get. With nearly a thousand titles to choose from, it’s overwhelming. Don’t worry, two Criterion aficionados have their picks that are perfect for any first-time buyer or if you’re looking for something to spice up your shelf.

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2018: Another Year of Cinema Come and Gone

This year was a real game changer for a person like myself. To kick things off, it was the first year in which I was able to attend TIFF as a press member rather than as any other audience member. It was a defining moment for myself, though I don’t want to brag a little too much about what happened there. It was just a good year for cinema in general. That’s all I can really say, and I want to bring more attention to the many films that I absolutely loved this year – and so many of them came around this year and so forth. We’re already nearing the end of a decade, and through the good and the bad, the cinema has always been able to provide nothing but the greatest pleasures through and through. Although as we look through the films that have come to define 2018 as a whole, there were many surprises that came along the way just as there were disappointments – all of which came in between the very best and the worst in cinema through the year. So without further ado, let us begin. Continue reading →

First Reformed Review: Finding Peace In a World of Chaos

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When I last watched Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ which was also penned by Paul Schrader, I thought to myself about what it was that Jesus Christ himself had intended with his own teachings that have only been twisted around to perform acts of evil across the globe. I open this review bringing that up, because there was one point of my life in which I was a devoted Roman Catholic, but my life has only been questioning what good has it truly done for me if I cannot ever find myself in a sense of solace. From watching Paul Schrader’s First Reformed, I was only wondering to myself what has it truly felt to devote your own life to something that you would only go on to question over time – it was the spiritual connection that I had not witnessed from a Schrader-penned film in a long while. And from watching this film, I felt that maybe there was still something important to my life that could have been defined by those moments in which I had ever felt myself as being more devoted than I know I really feel that I am. And I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it the moment since I had stepped out from watching First Reformed; but for all I know this may be Paul Schrader’s best directorial effort in quite some time.

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The Last Temptation of Christ Review: A Thought-Provoking Meditation Upon Faith and One of Scorsese’s Best Films

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I was at one point a devoted Roman Catholic, but now I find it so difficult to bring myself to commit to religion whether it be to believe in it or to reject it outright. When one would initially think of a title like “The Last Temptation of Christ,” an ardent Catholic may respond to say that the content is blasphemous because Christ is an image of perfection, one who stands for everything good within the world on behalf of another authority. But among the most important factors to consider when watching The Last Temptation of Christ is that it is not a film based on the Gospels but rather a controversial novel by Nikos Kazantzakis and it also happens to be directed by a Roman Catholic – and that man is none other than Martin Scorsese. But when you watch a film like The Last Temptation of Christ being told from those eyes, what makes it such an accomplished effort is how it feels most in touch with Scorsese’s own spirituality.

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Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters – Review

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I never knew anything about Yukio Mishima prior to my first watch of Paul Schrader’s biopic about him. What I did know about the film beforehand, it came from the Philip Glass score which I already had recognized from its use in Peter Weir’s wonderful The Truman Show – but I didn’t know it came out from here. When I watched this film, I did feel like I was growing closer to another process of a different person’s artistry. But I’m not even sure how Paul Schrader managed to form something like this out of the life story of Yukio Mishima, and thus what he has left us with is without a doubt one of the greatest biopics ever to have been made: it was the sort of experience that wasn’t placing you around oneself in order to get a taste of what the man was like. Because Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters isn’t so much a film entirely about Yukio Mishima, it was living and breathing in his culture.

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Taxi Driver – Review

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A voice crying for help inside of a city falling upon the ruins of itself. Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver gives that voice a perspective and just plays out as a perfect lash against the society occupying one’s mind. Quite arguably Martin Scorsese’s finest achievement as a filmmaker, Taxi Driver defines a generation so perfectly and in the years to come, it has still continued to shake viewers of all sorts – especially when there’s a specific illusion the world around oneself is creating that only greatness comes about. But maybe there was something more than Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader had attempted to reach, which allowed Taxi Driver to remain as strong, perhaps even grow stronger within years to come. That having been said, its reputation as one of the greatest American pictures of the 1970’s, even all time for the matter, has remained without any challenge in its way.

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