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Martin Scorsese's Obsession

November 11, 1990

Scorsese doesn't need a press agent when he is the recipient of fawning puff pieces like that of T.J. English.

The critical selection of "Raging Bull" as best picture of the 1980s merely confirms that decade as the ugliest most morally shallow times in our history. Scorsese didn't just record this wickedness, he wallowed in it. The vile picture tried to turn a thug into a saint by bludgeoning the audience with four-letter words, sickening violence and confused religious symbolism. "GoodFellas" drops the tortured religious bit, but, unfortunately, that leaves him with very little. He doesn't have the story, characters or acting of "The Godfather Saga" or the humor of "Prizzi's Honor" or "Married to the Mob." What it has is gobs of stomach-churning violence. Like other hack directors, Scorsese uses mayhem to excite audiences not reveal meaning.

Instead of entering the priesthood and affecting a few with his misguided nothing, he now piously uses his cinematic pulpit to pollute the world.

DAN O'NEILL

Los Angeles

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