Few mainstream filmmakers have as pronounced a disregard for the supposed rules of filmmaking as Martin Scorsese. His inventiveness displays a reaction against the “right” way to make a movie, frequently eschewing tradition in favor of something flashy and unexpected. Despite this, he’s become one of the most influential directors of the last fifty years, a critical darling, and a fan favorite.In The Films of Martin Scorsese: Gangsters, Greed, and Guilt, Eric San Juan guides readers through the crooks, the mobsters, the loners, the moguls, and the nobodies of Scorsese's 26-movie filmography. San Juan examines the techniques that have made Scorsese one of the most innovative directors in history, the themes that drive his works, and what Scorsese might be trying to tell us through his films.
Iconic movies such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, GoodFellas, and The Irishman are all examined in fascinating and insightful detail. With rare behind-the-scenes photos and over five decades of Scorsese interviews, even the most ardent Scorsese fan will find new information in this book to discuss, dissect, and debate.
More thoughtful appreciation than criticism, this engaging title from San Juan moves through Scorsese’s feature films (his many documentaries are not included) in chronological order, explaining the merits of each entry and, in many cases, why it falls where it does in his canon. Devoting roughly 10 pages to each title, San Juan effectively describes why Scorsese made the film and the movie’s impact on society and his career. Most important, he offers analysis that reads more like a well-considered blog post than another piece of dry criticism. While this extensively researched volume considers widely covered films such as Taxi Driver, The Last Temptation of Christ, and The Departed and cites major works on Scorsese published in the last 20 years, the author’s style is fresh and he brings new insights to the table. A clear, nuanced, and highly accessible primer to the films of one of America’s greatest directors.
San Juan provides an in-depth yet succinct chronological examination of all 26 of Scorsese’s narrative films, beginning with his 1967 debut feature film, Who’s That Knocking at My Door, and ending with his 2019 collaboration with Netflix, The Irishman. . . Though many books have covered the breadth of Scorsese’s oeuvre, cataloging and analyzing both his narrative and documentary films, San Juan’s pithy, accessible style makes the book stand out. A well-balanced overview of filmography and biography, the book reads as a tribute to Scorsese’s career. Whether Scorsese scholars or fans, readers will not be disappointed with San Juan’s engaging, entertaining book about a filmmaker ranked as one of the greatest directors of all time. . . Recommended. All readers.
Eric San Juan's deep dives into great filmmakers' bodies of work are essential reading for anyone looking to explore the trajectory of an artist's creative career. I wish his books had existed when I was a film student.
There’s no shortage of academic analysis of the works of Martin Scorsese, but even in that considerable field this book stands out. Eric San Juan mixes a scholarly deep dive with the giddy excitement of a true fan to tease out new and cogent insights on the Scorsese catalog that will prove revelatory whether you’re on your first viewing or your fiftieth.