Watch American Masters Documentary On Martin Scorsese


It might be July 5th now, but that’s no reason not to continue to celebrate the many great Americans that have made cinema what it is today. To this end, why not try checking out the old American Masters documentary on Martin Scorsese, and a newly surfaced interview between Scorsese and his fellow auteur Francis Ford Coppola?

The American Masters doc aired on PBS way back in 1990, before some of you were even born, and long before I had any cinematic interest beyond watching Lady and the Tramp for the five-hundredth time. That was the year of Goodfellas, though, the film that would become one of Scorsese’s biggest and most beloved successes. The documentary gives us lots of behind-the-scenes footage from that film, but also a pretty solid overview of Martin Scorsese’s previous work.

Scorsese is not the least talkative person about his work, but it’s always a pleasure to hear him wax eloquent on the subject of film. I challenge anyone with the slightest interest in cinema to not find what he has to say fascinating.

The Scorsese-Coppola interview is in a different category altogether. Hosted by Geoffrey Gilmore – then the director of the Sundance Film Festival – in 1997, it features the two filmmakers carrying on about Hollywood and the studio system. But again, we so seldom get to see Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola in the same room together so it really is a pleasure to hear them talk about movies.

These videos are a good way to ease you back into the real world after 4th of July shenanigans, but more than that they’re an important part of our cinematic heritage. If you want to talk about American movies, and those Americans who have elevated filmmaking to the realm of art, you can’t go wrong by starting with Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.

Check out first the American Masters doc, and then the interview, below.