Scorsese examines what men do when they are in conflict with themselves. Taxi Driver Travis Bickle is disgusted by the mean streets and wants to wash them clean. After all, what was the point of him going to Vietnam if it wasn't to make things better? Self-destructive Jake La Motta unleashes the Raging Bull within him both inside and outside the boxing ring. Wiseguy Henry Hill thinks that he can be one of the GoodFellas, but he eventually realises that there is nothing good or wise about a life of organised crime.
There is more to Scorsese's work than crime and violence. His characters are trying to attain some kind of spiritual peace with society, their family and themselves. In the end they try to make a decision they can live with. In Kundun, the Dalai Lama leaves Tibet. In The Last Temptation Of Christ, Jesus forgoes a normal family life to fulfil his destiny. In The Age Of Innocence, Newland Archer decides to be a hypocrite within society rather than truthful outside of it. In Mean Streets, Charlie must choose whether to keep his volatile friend Johnny Boy and his epileptic lover, or to propel himself up the ladder of success.
Hailed as America's greatest living film director, Martin Scorsese is an innovative storyteller at the height of his intellectual and emotional powers. This Pocket Essential examines his life and work.
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