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Slideshow

  • Behind-the-scenes, black and white shot of a man pointing a camera towards Steven Prince and two other men.
  • Black and white image of Steven Prince.
PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

AMERICAN BOY: A PROFILE OF STEVEN PRINCE

8:15

Friday, December 13

(1978) Scorsese and cinematographer Michael Chapman (who also shot Taxi DriverThe Last Waltz and Raging Bull) film a raucous autobiographical performance by Steven Prince (Taxi Driver’s unforgettable gun/drugs/Cadillac salesman “Easy Andy”) with his recollected life stories – interspersed with faded 8mm flashbacks and encompassing army brathood, draft-dodging, heroin abuse, a turbulent stint as a road manager for Neil Diamond, even murder – providing a blackly comic mirror image of Travis Bickle. With two of his yarns apparently lifted wholesale by Tarantino (in Pulp Fiction) and by Richard Linklater (in Waking Life), and himself a physical and spiritual prototype for Steve Buscemi’s screen persona, Prince is a movie icon – once removed. DCP. Approx. 55 min.

Reviews

American Boy is a film about survival… How to survive? It’s the question that all of my films ask.”
– Scorsese

American Boy incorporates and subverts more than one documentary convention at the same time: the interview, the archival fragment, the confession, the staged reenactment, the raw behind-the-scenes glimpse. Each functions in much the same way as the disparate elements of The Last Waltz… this strategic positioning, repositioning, telling, and retelling—itself has something to do with survival. If the question of survival is one that all of Scorsese’s films ask, then American Boy uncovers a certain survival mode inherent to the director’s process itself.”
– Leo Goldsmith, Reverse Shot