Five by Scorsese

Before he discovered Bobby or Leo, he was just Marty, an unknown filmmaker fresh out of NYU, and Hollywood wasn’t exactly knocking on his door in Little Italy. Made between 1963-1978, the short films in Five by Scorsese reveal future interests and paths not taken in his long and eventually Oscar-winning career. It’s Not Just You, Murray and What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? are actually comic, an element usually missing from Scorsese’s work. Italianamerican is a loving, black-and-white tribute to his parents and the whole immigrant experience. American Boy, made after Taxi Driver, is an unsettling documentary profile of a real-life Travis Bickle. The Big Shave—in which one innocent bathroom cut leads to a bloodbath—can be read as a Vietnam allegory (it was made in ’67), but it’s interesting as a formal exercise. Today, of course, Scorsese enjoys big budgets and A-list talent. His Dennis Lehane adaptation Shutter Island opens next February, with Leonardo DiCaprio starring. (NR) BRIAN MILLER

Aug. 21-27, 6:30 & 9 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 22, 4 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 23, 4 p.m., 2009

 
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