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“I Never Kid About Money”: Marty Goes Mainstream With “The Colour of Money”…

The podcast that I co-host, The 250, continued our belated Summer of Scorsese last week with a look at Goodfellas. Next week, we’ll looking at Casino. It is a fun and broad discussion that is well worth your time, but the season ends up largely avoiding Scorsese’s output during the 1980s. So I thought it might be worth taking a look back at The Colour of Money.

For Martin Scorsese, the eighties come sandwiched between two masterpieces: Raging Bull and Goodfellas.

These are two of the quintessential Martin Scorsese movies. They are frequently ranked among the best movies that Scorsese has made, and often included in lists of the best movies ever made. Indeed, there’s a famous Hollywood myth that director Brian de Palma reacted to a screening of Goodfellas by involking Raging Bull, proclaiming, “You made the best movie of the eighties and, God damn it, we’re barely into the nineties and you’ve already made the best movie of this decade, too!”

With that in mind, there’s a tendency of overlook Scorsese’s work during the eighties – to treat it as something equivalent to a cinematic lost decade largely defined by the failure of King of Comedy and the controversy over The Last Temptation of Christ. This is understandable, but it is also unfair. Indeed, recent years have seen a welcome push to reassess Martin Scorsese’s tumultuous journey through the era of excess.

Scorsese’s eighties might not have been the best decade or most productive decade in his filmography, but they were instructive. They were a time of growth and evolution for the filmmaker, a point at which the director seemed to finally figure out how to reconcile the movies that he wanted to make with movies that studios wanted to finance. Although often overlooked and ignored in this context, The Colour of Money is perhaps the most instructive of Scorsese’s films from this period.

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May the Fourth Be With You! 25% “Opening The X-Files” at McFarland Books, May 4-11!

Quick post to announce that my publisher McFarland Books are having a massive sale on their pop culture books to mark the week of May 4th. Using the coupon PopCulture25, readers can get a discount of one quarter off the retail price of a wide range of books covering film, television and pop culture. If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to pick up a book, this is a good one.

I have a bit of a vested interest in the sale, given that McFarland published my book. Opening the X-Files offers a critical history of the original run of The X-Files, all the way from The Pilot through to I Want to Believe. I’m very proud of the book, and very grateful of the opportunity that McFarland gave me. And the reviews have been quite kind.

It has been described as “an informative and engrossing critical history of the series”, “one of the most confident, assured and enlightening reads on Chris Carter’s seminal show ever produced”, and “one of its essential texts.” To quote the great Jose Chung, I’m going to call those an unqualified rave!

You can visit the company’s website here. You can view all the books included in the offer here. You can order my book, Opening the X-Files, here.

All you need to need to do is just enter the code PopCulture25 when you reach the check-out. No muss, no fuss.

May the fourth be with you!