Martin Scorsese knows a thing or two about taking risks—there aren’t many 71-year-old directors who stake their reputation on 3-hour depictions of orgiastic financial crime, or on similarly lengthy children’s films about the earliest days of cinema and the internal politics of large train stations. But Marty does, so he seems a good person to ask about risk-taking in cinema, which is exactly what he does in this series of videos, dissecting briefly seven of his favourite risky directing decisions, from the very well-known—the risks Orson Welles took making “Citizen Kane”—and Scorsese’s own well-established favourites, including the startling brilliance of Powell and Pressburger‘s “The Red Shoes,” a film whose directors Scorsese has spent much of his career boosting. But Scorsese also takes in lesser-known names.
William Friese-Greene, for one, is not a name on many people’s lips, but Scorsese as the consummate cinema historian knows all about the Victorian pioneer of moving pictures, as well as about the 1951 British film “The Magic Box,” which recounted Friese-Greene’s life. And here he introduces us to them, and to his own early fascination with the art and science of cinema: a fascination which led him to his risky, but endlessly successful career. [Cinephilia & Beyond]