From Publishers Weekly
In this q&a-format biography, film critic and documentary filmmaker Schickel follows one of America's greatest directors on a journey through his life in cinema. An asthmatic, sickly child, Scor-sese used movies to escape from family tensions and the mean streets of New York's Little Italy. In a career now in its fifth decade, Scorsese has made over 20 feature films (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, etc.) as well as numerous documentaries. A cross between a film master class and after-hours jam session, the conversations range from Scorsese's Italian upbringing to Hollywood gossip to obscure silent films. Scorsese and Schickel's long friendship and their encyclopedic film knowledge bring a comfort and complexity to their interaction. Scorsese has always been a fluid raconteur, and Schickel brings out the best in him—not least of all because he's confident enough to disagree with the master. Scorsese's focus on the minutiae of his life and in his movies has given his work universal appeal. Anyone with even a passing interest in Scorsese's career or in film history will find a gem on every page. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Film-critic Schickel recently sat down with Scorsese for a series of late-night conversations. Stitched together here, they form an illuminating autobiography-cum-film-studies-course from one of the nation�s foremost directors. Scorsese speaks candidly about his childhood in Little Italy and his escape into the movies of the 1950s; his pivotal experiences at the NYU film school and his early student efforts; and, of course, his phenomenal filmmaking career, from his 1967 debut, Who�s That Knocking at My Door, through last year�s Shutter Island. The in-depth treatment provides fascinating insights into Scorsese�s films; even his most obsessed fans will discover new revelations, and hearing him discuss his entire body of work in a single lengthy narrative ties such outliers as The Age of Innocence and Kundun to more-characteristic masterworks like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. Both Schickel and Scorsese are utterly movie-obsessed, so a significant chunk of the conversation is inevitably devoted to the classic films they both love; for cinephiles, these passages, where two passionate and supremely informed fans articulately chat about the subjects of their fixation, might be the most rewarding part of this fascinating document. --Gordon Flagg