My most recent trip to Melbourne was to see the Scorsese exhibit at ACMI.
ACMI always do amazing exhibits, Bowie last year knocking it out of the park to a level never again to be surpassed.
But the Scorsese exhibit was great. I met my friend, M, there on a drizzly Sunday and we had a great time.
There was much to see, from costumes, to film memorabilia, to childhood pieces, and of course plenty of screens with classic scenes from all those classic films.
I love how the two posters facing each other have melded together.
Marty and Winona
Stills from The Aviator
The actual costumes
There was also a lot of Marty talking about something, at the speed of light, especially film reservation and his favourites. I could listen to him talk forever, he could read the phone book and I would be satisfied. His passion for film and his unique cadence are charismatic.
Now I have always been a Scorsese fan (can you tell!?!), but it wasn’t until I was there surrounded by so many great films, that I realised how remarkable his career has been. Well I kinda knew that too, it’s a funny thing, it isn’t until everything is spread out in front of you that you realise.
De Niro's Shirt from NYNY
Palme D'Or for Taxi Driver
On the set
A true movie buff, he owns THE Red Shoes
From Raging Bull
I saw clips of films I had simply forgotten about, and realised out of his very extensive catalogue, there was very few I had not seen. Some of his early works, and a few from the mid 80s. And from those I had seen, most I absolutely adore. We tried to think about which ones were our top favourites but it was impossible when you were surrounded by such greatness, to choose one or maybe two great films.
There are his gritty NY city films, we know him best for, but then there are beautiful sentimental films like Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Hugo, Age of Innocence. Or completely unexpected films like Kundun and The Aviator. There is also his love of music and documentaries or concert films. And, I think, most importantly, his extensive documentaries; My Voyage to Italy, and A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies.
So I decided to work on my top ten, these could change order tomorrow but I think the ten will remain...until he does something new to add!
1. Hugo – this is such a wonderful film. Scorsese’s love of film shines through. Paris, Melies, film, and a little magic, you really don’t need anything else.
2. King of Comedy – this is such an offbeat film, it shouldn’t work. De Niro at his best, and paired with Jerry Lewis, very funny.
3. Raging Bull – This, I think, is easily Scorsese’s masterpiece. You don’t need to be into Boxing to love and appreciate this magnificent film.
4. The Aviator – Di Caprio and Blanchett are perfection as Hughes and Hepburn. Scorsese’s love of film pays off here in this divine homage.
5. Age of Innocence – Sublime, sumptuous, period drama. Not a description you’d expect to hear, but a deserved accolade nonetheness.
6. Mean Streets – the original classic, from the drum beat of Be My Baby, you knew you were on an unexpected ride.
7. Kundun – serene and peaceful, there is so much to love in this film, I just don’t know where to start.
8. New York, New York – flawed – oh my yes, beautifully made and acted in – without a doubt. Minelli and De Niro – just think about that!
9. Taxi Driver – the go to Scorsese film, I’ve not watched this in a long while, but there are just some classic scenes within it.
10. The Last Waltz – sentimental, sublime, the music, and The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down!
And YES, Casino and Goodfellas are masterpieces, possibly his best films, but I love the other 10 better.
The exhibit is long finished now, so I am glad I made the effort to head down.