1999, Paramount, 121 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

TAXI DRIVER director Martin Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader return to the gritty streets of Manhattan - in an ambulance. This time Nicolas Cage (in one of his best performances) takes the wheel as burnt-out paramedic Frank Pierce, bedeviled by a heroin epidemic that’s gripped the city and haunted by the patients he couldn’t save. His partners on the graveyard shift deal with the chaos of the job in varying ways: Ving Rhames appeals to God, while the brutal Tom Sizemore puts his trust in a baseball bat. An underrated meditation on how tenuous the ties to life and to sanity can become.

CAPE FEAR (1991)
1991, Universal, 128 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

Robert De Niro is the stuff of nightmares as Max Cady, a recently released rapist who targets the public defender (Nick Nolte) he blames for his conviction. This intense (and violent) thriller is a remake of a 1962 film starring Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck, both of whom appear in smaller roles here. Costarring Jessica Lange and Juliette Lewis.

1988, Universal, 164 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

An insightful, intensely personal adaptation of the Nikos Kazantzakis novel that dares to portray Jesus as human as well as divine. Willem Dafoe is a realistic, believable Christ beset by doubt, whose faith and selflessness finally triumph in the ultimate self-sacrifice. This indelibly moving film features a dream cast, with Harvey Keitel as an idealistic Judas tortured by unfolding destiny and a luminous Barbara Hershey as a sensual, sensitive Mary Magdalene.

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