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Martin Scorsese on the director as smuggler

by Michelle Langford

In this clip from the film that Martin Scorsese made to celebrate the centenary of cinema in 1995 he discusses the work of three Hollywood directors whose work indirectly 'smuggled' controversial topics into their films during the HUAC period in the 1950s.
We use the clip to highlight the role of the filmmaker as auteur, using cinematic language: camera, mise-en-scène, performance etc. not only as stylistic flourishes, but to engage audiences in key issues of the times. Importantly, Scorsese also highlights the importance for young filmmakers to study films from earlier periods as they develop their own signature styles.
Scorsese also models a practice of film analysis as he discusses clips from SILVER LAKE (Allan Dwan, 1954), ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (Douglas Sirk, 1955) and BIGGER THAN LIFE (Nicholas Ray, 1955). This is useful for students learning the skills of film analysis.

Martin Scorsese: The Director as Smuggler.

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

from A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995)
Creator: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson
Distributor: Lions Gate Films
Posted by Michelle Langford