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Italianamerican – 1974
Martin Scorsese

Lawrence D. Cohen (as Larry Cohen)
Mardik Martin

Elaine Attias producer
Bert Lovitt associate producer (as B. Lovitt)
Saul Rubin producer

Catherine Scorsese – Herself
Charles Scorsese – Himself
Martin Scorsese – Himself (uncredited)

Review by Jack Gatanella

Italianamerican (1974)

the most ‘home movie’ of Scorsese’s documentaries,
The film consists of Martin Scorcesi and a small film crew literally talking over dinner at his parents’ house.

Like someone opening up a family scrapbook or putting on a video from footage you haven’t seen in years, Italian/American is Martin Scorsese’s personal look at his family, most particularly his parents Catherine and Charlie. Both have had memorable bits in his films (Goodfellas being their prime, as Catherine was Pesci’s mother and Charlie the onion-cooking prisoner in jail), but are also willing to be on-screen for a kind of personal inquisition from Martin about the family’s history. We learn about the ancestry of the Scorseses, on both sides, and how this influence came into the family.

At times, strangely in such a short amount of time, the ‘home video’ factor is actually a little boring, as it would be in real life. Yet a fascination remains with these people, and the director’s own deep interest in it (he references the family’s history as well in My Voyage to Italy). A highlight actually occurs in the end, as Catherine offers up her recipe for tomato sauce!

For Scorsese die-hards a must-see; a curiosity for anyone else interested.

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