Scorsese’s The Irishman in the Context of his Oeuvre–Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #29 Featuring Colin Marshall

What dis­tin­guish­es the high­ly laud­ed 2019 film The Irish­man with­in direc­tor Mar­tin Scors­ese’s body of work? Fre­quent Open Cul­ture con­trib­u­tor Col­in Mar­shall joins Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Eri­ca Spyres, and Bri­an Hirt to talk about what we do and don’t con­nect with in Scors­ese’s work and how these films qual­i­fy as “art films” despite their watch­a­bil­i­ty, not to men­tion the big bud­gets and stars.

We cov­er CGI age alter­ation, the con­nec­tion to The Jok­er, his com­ments about the Mar­vel fran­chise vs. him being a fran­chise unto him­self, his use of music, and mak­ing films as an old guy. We hit par­tic­u­lar­ly on Rag­ing Bull, Taxi Dri­ver, Bring­ing out the Dead, The King of Com­e­dy, Good­fel­las, Gangs of New York,  The Depart­ed, Casi­no, Silence, and Cape Fear. (There are no sig­nif­i­cant spoil­ers about any of these oth­er films, just The Irish­man.)

Beyond just watch­ing or re-watch­ing a lot of films, here are some arti­cles we used to prep:

Col­in rec­om­mends the books Easy Rid­ers, Rag­ing Bulls, Scors­ese on Scors­ese, and Gang­ster Priest: The Ital­ian Amer­i­can Cin­e­ma of Mar­tin Scors­ese. Read Col­in’s Open Cul­ture arti­cles on Scors­ese. Also, Col­in reviews The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life in 2012.

Here’s that clip from Sin­gles about “the next Mar­tin Scorseeze.” Here’s Peter Boyle in Taxi Dri­ver giv­ing “Wiz­ard” advice. Watch Abed in Com­mu­ni­ty con­sid­er whether Nico­las Cage is good or bad.

This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion that you can only hear by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts or start with the first episode.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.