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Martin Scorsese Working on British Cinema Documentary

Written by on November 29, 2011 

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that anybody reading these words is at least tangentially familiar with Martin Scorsese‘s narrative output. I will, however, also assume that quite a few people have limited themselves to his features — and if I’m correct, they’ve missed out on entertaining, enlightening windows into everyday life (American Boy, Italianamerican), the world of music (The Last Waltz, No Direction Home, Living in the Material World), and film history (A Personal Journey Through American Movies, My Voyage to Italy).

That lattermost category is especially pertinent at this very moment, since The Independent — who profiled a new book about the man, Scorsese on Scorsese — briefly mentioned that he and the book’s author, Personal Journey co-writer and co-director Michael Henry Wilson, are working on a “new doc about British cinema.” To say that Scorsese‘s no stranger to the topic is rather obvious. Even if he wasn’t familiar with every class of cinema, it’s would still be relevant to note that he was a close friend to legendary British filmmaker Michael Powell, even introducing him to his eventual wife — and Scorsese‘s own editor — Thelma Schoonmaker. Heck, he’s even lamented the recent passing of Ken Russell in the past 24 hours.

Both of his film history-based documentaries involve the director guiding us through the subject at hand, as clips and historical footage play over his narration; I’m not expecting anything different here, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either. And, speaking in terms of what he could cover, well — the possibilities here are nearly endless.

That much being said, Scorsese‘s own schedule is a big reason for why you might want to hold your horses on getting excited. For example: That George Harrison documentary we saw a couple of months ago? He signed on to direct that in the fall of 2007, and reportedly began to work on it only a few months after. Now, when he’s balancing twenty projects at once, complaining is almost ungrateful — but that packed slate is at least worth keeping in mind for now.

Would you be interested in seeing Scorsese tackle the history of British film?


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