Italianamerican

1974

Documentary

0
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 1932

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by coop-16 10 / 10

A film that Scorseses detractors-and admirers-should play close attention to.

I recently read a pretty vicious attack on Scorsese in an excellent evangelical periodical, Books and Culture. It claimed Scorsese is, in a word, bloodthirsty, and still a street punk at heart.Granted, Scorsese has done his share of bloody films, but the violence which obsesses him isn't PHYSICAL, its emotional. In addition, Scorsese isnt simply obsessed with blood..hes obsessed with honor, tradition,and family. A clue to the shallowness of this critique of Scorsese could be found in the fact that the author actually thought Age of Innocence was just a studio assignment,which Scorsese agreed to do reluctantly. In fact, Scorsese obsessed over Wharton's novel for a decade after his pal, Jay Cocks, gave it to him. Everyone of Scorseses critics should watch this heart-felt, tender, and utterly bloodless film. I really hope he finally gets around to doing his long-planned feature film about his parents courtship,and his own boyhood in little Italy. P.S.the film also inspired me to buy The Scorsese Family cookbook!

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 10 / 10

the most 'home movie' of Scorsese's documentaries

Like someone opening up a family scrapbook or putting on a video from footage you haven't seen in years, Italian/American is Martin Scorsese's personal look at his family, most particularly his parents Catherine and Charlie. Both have had memorable bits in his films (Goodfellas being their prime, as Catherine was Pesci's mother and Charlie the onion-cooking prisoner in jail), but are also willing to be on-screen for a kind of personal inquisition from Martin about the family's history. We learn about the ancestry of the Scorseses, on both sides, and how this influence came into the family. At times, strangely in such a short amount of time, the 'home video' factor is actually a little boring, as it would be in real life. Yet a fascination remains with these people, and the director's own deep interest in it (he references the family's history as well in My Voyage to Italy). A highlight actually occurs in the end, as Catherine offers up her recipe for tomato sauce! For Scorsese die-hards a must-see; a curiosity for anyone else interested.

Reviewed by jzappa 8 / 10

Family

The beginning of Martin Scorsese's career had much to do with his urge to portray the Italian-American Roman Catholic experience. Who's That Knocking at My Door and Mean Streets, for instance, are not just films about low-level hoods getting into trouble but on a more profound level dealing with the virtually reflexive affectations born out of their culture, heritage and masculinity complexes. One can see these movies over and over again and discover an undertone never before realized, because is not just Scorsese's interest in the subject but his lifelong saturation in it that gave them such endless dimensions and jittery spirit. Italianamerican, shot after returning from Hollywood to rediscover his ethnic roots, whether or not this home movie of sorts has the same vibrancy or histrionics as the director's features, is the last necessary word on the subject. Any vagueness in imagining the look and feel of the Italian-American middle-class Roman Catholic existence will be enriched by this 50-minute homemade doc.

The Scorseses talk about their experiences as Italian immigrants in New York among other things, while having dinner at their flat on Elizabeth Street. It is purely incidental that Scorsese's father Charles is quiet much of the time, guarded, slowly growing comfortable with the camera, while mother Catherine is with no trouble at all completely her zestful self. Just as if the director had taken us along while visiting his parents, they discuss, with little apparent preparation, the family's origins, their ancestors, life in post-war Italy and the burdens of poor Sicilian immigrants in America struggling to acquire livelihood and earn enough to support their families. She also instructs how to cook her meatballs. If you misunderstand her instruction at all, don't worry; the recipe's in the credits.

Italianamerican is very, well, easy, but it's one of the most endearing things a director has ever done. He shares his parents with us, his old home, the stories that brought him here. The quirks of his parents remind us of those of our own parents. It is pleasant just simply to watch two people who are never afraid to pick a fight with each other, have their many clashing opinions and have learned to let it all slide, to live with each other in peace. Their hostility is not hostility to them; it's just how they talk to each other.

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