06/16/15 7:18am
06/16/2015 7:18 AM |

Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s

GoodFellas (1990)
Directed by Martin Scorsese
June 19-25 at Film Forum

When Martin Scorsese’s now-classic GoodFellas, screening in a 25th anniversary 4K restoration, was first released, many critics received it as a gritty reality check on the two extant Godfather movies. Unlike Francis Ford Coppola, Scorsese did not portray Italian-American arch-criminals simply as avid pursuers of the American Dream with their own set of rules. To him, like others, they were vicious thugs with a code of conduct that did not comport with accepted moral principles. This feature was certainly an important critical element of the film, but for popular audiences it was muted. The movie’s more salient and extraordinary aspect was the implicit suggestion that despite its characters’ habitual and immoral resort to theft, extortion, and extreme violence, they were undeniably seductive and compelling to any little boy in the neighborhood who saw them in action.


05/13/15 8:50am
05/13/2015 8:50 AM |


After Hours (1985)
Directed by Martin Scorsese
All the anxiety of Koch-era New York is wrapped up in this surreal, screwball and terrifying film about a toothy nobody (Griffin Dunne) who gets stuck in SoHo, broke, hunted by an angry mob and surrounded by bad luck, suicide, lunatics and awful coincidences. Pitching Downtown as a psychic prison—an inescapable, ouroboric maze—this nightmare of eternal return propels through interweaving adventures in artists’ lofts, diners, dive bars, subway stations, punk clubs and the apartments of bartenders, waitresses and johns. It’s a last look at crazy old New York, before the early-morning streets got so crowded cabbies couldn’t even drive down them like maniacs anymore. Henry Stewart (May 15, 16, midnight at IFC Center’s “Staff Picks”)