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USA 2000
Directed by
Martin Scorsese
121 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4.5 stars

Bringing Out The Dead

Scorsese re-visits the world of Taxi Driver, the ugly streets of New York, full of druggies, hookers and crazies, seeing it this time through the eyes of a burnt-out paramedic played by Nicholas Cage.

With a script by long-time collaborator, Paul Schrader, from a novel by one Joe Connelly whose real career experiences we presumably see compressed into three days, and Scorsese's bravura direction, this is impressive stuff. Why Cage got the lead instead of De Niro, or Al Pacino, who would have made a meal of it, I don't know, but in a way his woodenly impassive style suits his narrative function as the dead heart of a raging storm.

Scorsese has always puzzled me as director, one who is both probing and yet conservatively attached to the conventions of Hollywood film - hence the romantic sub-plot with Patricia Arquette as the saving angel, and the baseball bat violence. No-one would dispute that he is a superb craftsman but like so many mainstream directors, he tends to let the generic aspects of his craft dominate the essence of his story.




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