The Philosophy of Martin Scorsese

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Mark Conard
University Press of Kentucky, 2007 M05 31 - 280 pages
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Academy AwardÐwinning director Martin Scorsese is one of the most significant American filmmakers in the history of cinema. Although best known for his movies about gangsters and violence, such as Mean Streets, Goodfellas, Casino, and Taxi Driver, Scorsese has addressed a much wider range of themes and topics in the four decades of his career. In The Philosophy of Martin Scorsese, an impressive cast of contributors explores the complex themes and philosophical underpinnings of Martin ScorseseÕs films. The essays concerning ScorseseÕs films about crime and violence investigate the nature of friendship, the ethics of vigilantism, and the nature of unhappiness. The authors delve deeply into the minds of ScorseseÕs tortured characters and explore how the men and women he depicts grapple with moral codes and their emotions. Several of the essays explore specific themes in individual films. The authors describe how Scorsese addresses the nuances of social mores and values in The Age of Innocence, the nature of temptation and self-sacrifice in The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead, and the complexities of innovation and ambition in The Aviator. Other chapters in the collection examine larger philosophical questions. In a world where everything can be interpreted as meaningful, Scorsese at times uses his films to teach audiences about the meaning in life beyond the everyday world depicted in the cinema. For example, his films touching on religious subjects, such as Kundun and The Last Temptation of Christ, allow the director to explore spiritualism and peaceful ways of responding to the chaos in the world.Filled with penetrating insights on ScorseseÕs body of work, The Philosophy of Martin Scorsese shows the director engaging with many of the most basic questions about our humanity and how we relate to one another in a complex world.

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The philosophy of Martin Scorsese

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The greatest filmmakers do not simply tell stories, they create a multifaceted experience that requests as well as demands further inquiry. Martin Scorsese has crafted some of the most important films ... Read full review


No Safe Haven
Gods Lonely Man
Goodfellas Gyges and the Good Life
Mean Streets
The Cinema of Madness
The Age of Innocence
After Hours
The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead
Flying Solo
Art Sex and Time in Scorseses After Hours
The Ethical Underpinnings of Kundun
Scorsese and the Transcendental

The Pupkin Gambit

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About the author (2007)

Mark T. Conard, assistant professor of philosophy at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, is the editor or coeditor of many books, including The Philosophy of Film Noir and The Philosophy of Neo-Noir.

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