The Daily Stream: Celebrate Marty's Birthday With A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

(Welcome to The Daily Stream, an ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they've been watching, why it's worth checking out, and where you can stream it.)

The Film: "A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies"

Where You Can Stream It: Kanopy

The Pitch: Martin Scorsese, our greatest living filmmaker, walks you through 100 years of American film history. He speaks about the technical process of making movies and highlights various filmmakers throughout the ages. It's basically a full-fledged film course wrapped up in a 225-minute documentary, with Martin Scorsese as your guide. Here's the full synopsis: 

Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese takes you on a fascinating journey through the last 100 years of American cinema, beginning with the creative process, storytelling and technical aspects of film production. He also profiles filmmakers who have shaken the establishment and changed the way we see films today. Scorsese's knowledge and decades of experience provide insight on combining personal expression and filmmaking.

Honestly, you can't go wrong here. Drop what you're doing and watch this now.

Why It's Essential Viewing

I don't know who the greatest filmmaker of all time is, but I'm fairly confident that the greatest living filmmaker is Martin Scorsese. You're free to disagree, and I am free to ignore you! Anyway, today is Martin Scorsese's birthday, and I thought the best way to celebrate would be to tell you about a 3+ hour documentary that's currently streaming on the free streaming service Kanopy. And free is always good, folks. 

Released in 1995, the documentary "A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies" has Scorsese front and center, walking us through 100 years of cinema. Other folks appear, too, but this is Scorsese's show, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I could listen to the man talk about movies for hours upon hours, and that's pretty much exactly what "A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies" is. 

Scorsese is a walking encyclopedia of film history – if you've ever watched an interview with the man you've likely seen him go off on tangents, speaking quickly about film and film history without missing a beat. The man knows movies, folks. And to listen to him talk about movies is just a joy. Using jumping-off topics like "the director as storyteller," "the director as illusionist," "the director as a smuggler," and "the director as iconoclast," Scorsese walks us through the filmmaking process while highlighting various works. Listening to Scorsese talk about movies is like a religious experience, opening your eyes to things you may have never noticed before. Even if you consider yourself well-versed in the world of film, Scorsese still manages to provide the type of insight that you may have never even considered. Best of all, since this was made in 1995, there's not a single moment where someone asks Scorsese what he thinks about superhero movies! Ah, the good old days. 

But best of all, Scorsese helps you appreciate films and understand why they're so damn special. There's so much more to movies than the box office, or pure pop entertainment. The power that resides within the moving image is not to be underestimated. As Scorsese says himself in the documentary, "It's as if movies answer an ancient quest for the common unconscious; they fulfill a spiritual need that people have – to share a common memory."