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Martin Scorsese: Auteurism in Gangs of New York - Movie Review Example

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The movie review " Martin Scorsese: Auteurism in Gangs of New York " explores interest in history. He has made several historical films that challenges the public’s interests in history by raising controversial topics such as Catholicism, Vietnam, JFK’s assassination, the Holocaust…
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Martin Scorsese: Auteurism in Gangs of New York
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Martin Scorsese: Auteurism in Gangs of New York

Download file to see previous pages... It has been argued that auteur theory may label a director and just as well make him complacent in his work, aside from being redundant in theme and style. As Mardik Martin stated, "The auteur theory killed all these people. One or two films, the magazines told them they were geniuses, that they could do anything. They went completely bananas. They thought they were God." (qtd. from Scott para. 11)
In his 2002 movie Gangs of New York, Scorsese recreates 19th century New York specifically the Five Points District, which at the time was ruled by gangs. The plot revolves around the revenge that Amsterdam Vallon has been seeking for the death of his father against the leader of the nativists, Bill “The Butcher” Cutting. These nativists oppose the influx of immigrants into America and believe that “America is for Americans.”
With the movie slogan “America was born in the streets”, it may be deduced that the movie’s main thesis, as Benjamin Justice puts it, is that “before modernity, American civil life was wild, mean, and bloody” (Justice para. 1). And yet again, with reference to history, Scorsese implies that as the true past seems to have been forgotten, the people of America need to be reminded how it once was, as may be evident in the end part of the film, where the main characters portray their conflicts with the 1863 Draft Riots (Sischy para. 6).
Scorsese has been repeatedly described as one who likes to emphasize morbid images, bloodshed and violence in his works. The scenes that can be named to strengthen this point is much too numerous, so one must keep in mind the bloodhsed that is depicted in the movie Gangs of New York. This may be associated with Scorsese's status as a Roman Catholic and add to this, his catechism studies with the Irish sisters of Mercy at Old St. Patrick's elementary school (Blake 3). Given these, it seems that Scorsese often relates bloodshed with redemption, that which mirrors Catholic christology that through the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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