Death in Hollywood: Christopher Durang, Playwright and Tony Winner for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Dies at 75

The master of satire and black comedy won a Tony Award for ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist with ‘Miss Witherspoon.’

Mean Streets (1973): Scorsese’s Third Film, Starring Harvey Keitel and DeNiro Announced the Arrival of Major Visionary Director

Almost 50 years to the date, a month after arriving in New York to study sociology and film at Columbia University, I saw a young, insecure, unknown director, named Martin Scorsese, introducing his film on stage at the N.Y. Film Festival.

Oscar Directors: My Favorite Scorsese Movie, “After Hours” (1985), Dazzling Film Noir, Ulysses in SoHo, Starring Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom, Linda Fiorentino, Teri Garr

Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary: After Hours is sort of Greenwich Village version of Joyce's “Ulysses,” complete with Catholic guilt, a staple in Scorsese's work. It's a black comedy about an ordinary guy–a bored, uptight, repressed yuppie.

King of Comedy (1983): Scorsese’s Underestimated Movie

As directed by Scorsese, “King of Comedy” was misinterpreted by many film critics–the black comedy offers a pungent (ahead od its time) look at perverse obsession with celebrities.

Raging Bull (1980): Scorsese’s Masterpiece, Starring De Niro in his Second Oscar-Winning Performance with Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty (Torturro Uncredited) (Masterpieces of American Cinema)

In Raging Bull, Scorsese equates sexuality with brute force and erratic violence; it’s a vicious circle. Freud has called it the “Madonna-whore complex.” Prizefighter Jake LaMotta suffers such low self-esteem and insecure masculinity that he cannot respect a woman who would sleep with him, and is convinced that given the choice she would rather sleep with another man.