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Next 'Six Week Film School' Focused On Scorsese's Style

Charles Sykes
AP Photo
Director Martin Scorsese attends the 35th anniversary screening of "Taxi Driver" in New York, Thursday, March 10, 2011

Like the first two Six Week Film Festivals at the Normal Theater, the next one is also focused on style, according to the organizer.

"Alice to Silence: The Scorsese Style" begins Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. with Martin Scorsese's 1974 film "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore." The Six Week Film School is organized by Illinois State University English Professor Bill McBride. 

"I know the six I choose have the most style, what I like to call stylized moments," said McBride during GLT's Sound Ideas. "Where he does things with camera, with lighting, with editing that communicates meaning. These six made the grade."

This is the third such film fest organized by McBride, but the first with a film director to attend film school and the only living film director. The first Six Week Film Festival a year ago focused on film noir and femme fatales. Earlier this year, McBride led a fest focused on Hitchcock.

There's a vast Scorsese film library from which to choose. McBride said filmgoers may notice there are no mafia-related films, although the director is known for these films. "Goodfellas" is a fan favorite. "The Departed" won the Oscar for Best Picture. 

"It might be me going against the grain," said McBride, who also pointed out that the films that are included meet the style threshold. 

There is a gangster film, however, "Gangs of New York," but it's set in 1863. McBride says while the film festival is focused on style, he says it made the cut because of an actor performance. 

The movie poster for the 1976 film Taxi Driver, showing at the Normal Theater on Oct. 4.

"That performance of Butcher Bill is just brilliant, Daniel Day-Lewis, the great Irish actor," said McBride.

As for the first film in the series, "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," McBride said Scorsese was able to get excellent performances from Ellen Burstyn and Kris Kristofferson, who at the time was known more as a singer-songwriter than an actor. 

"This is the beginning of his acting career and Scorsese to have cast him first off is a brilliant gesture and what he gets from him is equally great," said McBride.

Six Week Film School runs through Nov. 8. All shows are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the Normal Theater. 

Six Week Film School "Alice to Silence: The Scorsese Style" schedule:

  • Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore - Sept. 27
  • Taxi Driver - Oct. 4
  • The Last Temptation of Christ - Oct. 11
  • Gangs of New York - Oct. 25
  • Hugo - Nov. 1
  • Silence - Nov. 8 

GLT's full story about The Six Week Film Festival

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