Apr 15, 2017
Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Martin Scorsese. 1974. 49 mins. 35mm. With Martin Scorsese, Catherine Scorsese, Charles Scorsese. Shot on 16mm film in the Manhattan apartment where he grew up, Italianamerican is the record of a conversation between Martin Scorsese and his parents, Charles and Catherine. Over 49 brisk minutes, the three manage to cover a great deal of ground, most notably the parents’ years growing up in the rough-and-tumble New York tenements during the early years of the twentieth century, with their particular recollections subtly doubling for the collective experience suggested by the film’s title. When the setting shifts from the living room to the dining room and everyone sits down to dinner, the mood becomes looser and more animated, with Scorsese and his mother moving into the kitchen for a quick lesson on how to make tomato sauce—or “gravy,” as Catherine would call it—punctuated at the end by the recipe itself being hospitably offered to the guests in the audience.