Martin Scorsese and the American Dream

Martin Scorsese and the American Dream

by Jim Cullen
Martin Scorsese and the American Dream

Martin Scorsese and the American Dream

by Jim Cullen


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More than perhaps any other major filmmaker, Martin Scorsese has grappled with the idea of the American Dream. His movies are full of working-class strivers hoping for a better life, from the titular waitress and aspiring singer of Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore to the scrappy Irish immigrants of Gangs of New York. And in films as varied as CasinoThe Aviator, and The Wolf of Wall Street, he vividly displays the glamour and power that can come with the fulfillment of that dream, but he also shows how it can turn into a nightmare of violence, corruption, and greed.  
This book is the first study of Scorsese’s profound ambivalence toward the American Dream, the ways it drives some men and women to aspire to greatness, but leaves others seduced and abandoned. Showing that Scorsese understands the American dream in terms of a tension between provincialism and cosmopolitanism, Jim Cullen offers a new lens through which to view such seemingly atypical Scorsese films as The Age of InnocenceHugo, and Kundun. Fast-paced, instructive, and resonant, Martin Scorsese and the American Dream illuminates an important dimension of our national life and how a great artist has brought it into focus.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781978817418
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 06/18/2021
Pages: 180
Sales rank: 545,220
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 16 - 18 Years

About the Author

JIM CULLEN is the author of numerous books, including Those Were the Days: Why All in the Family Still Matters and From Memory to History: Television Versions of the Twentieth Century (both Rutgers University Press). He has taught at Harvard, Brown, and Sarah Lawrence College, and is a member of the faculty of the newly established Greenwich Country Day High School in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

A Martin Scorsese Feature Film Chronology xv

Introduction: The Provincial Cosmopolitan 1

1 The Elizabethan Era 9

2 Redeeming Dreams 27

3 Impressive Failures 55

4 Dream Critiques 81

5 Recurring Dreams 107

Conclusion: Dream of Life 133

Acknowledgments 139

Notes 141

Index 153

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