Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee—born fifteen years apart and ultimately trained at the same film school—have over the last half-century defined the look and underlying tensions of New York City for the entire filmgoing world. In this course, we will put their films where the two directors have often found themselves: in dialogue with each other. We will view their earliest student films, their globally recognized classics (Taxi Driver and Do the Right Thing), their explorations of the effects that professional sports may have on masculinity (Raging Bull and He Got Game), their serious experiments with the musical (New York New York and Chi-Raq), their even more serious treatments of religious awakening (The Last Temptation of Christ and Malcolm X), their parallel meditations on NYC in the wake of 9/11 (Gangs of New York and 25th Hour), and their surreal critiques of mass media (The King of Comedy and Bamboozled), not to mention the commercials that both men have directed in order to finance their riskier movies and the music videos that each of them directed for Michael Jackson.
To steal a title from one of Scorsese’s recent projects for television, “Pretend It’s a city”—a city on screen, being admired and argued over by two of its most talented creative artists.
LIT 373-01 (41493)
LIT 373-02 (41475)
Professor Ann Huse