Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
May 29
Nov. 17, 1942
Martin Scorsese born

Hear the name "Martin Scorsese" and you'll most likely remember an iconic scene from one of his seminal modern classics, like the "You talkin' to me?" monologue from Taxi Driver or the gloriously long single-take Steadicam shot through a mob nightclub in Goodfellas. But Scorsese, who was born on November 17, 1942, has always been a two-track filmmaker, pursuing studio-based projects that mix auteurist smarts with audience appeal while pursuing smaller, personal documentary and producing projects. So, while we wait for his latest, the gothic thriller Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the director remains perhaps even more active than normal. His Boardwalk Empire series is soon to premiere on HBO, he's finishing a documentary on George Harrison, and he heads not one but two organizations designed to the preservation of great works of cinema. One, the Film Foundation, recently restored Michael Powell's masterpiece, The Red Shoes, while the other, the World Cinema Foundation, oversaw a stunning restoration of the 1969 Egyptian film, The Mummy, directed by Shadi Abdel Salam. Scorsese is slated to receive the Cecile B. DeMille Award, given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, at the Golden Globes next year.


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Fury May 29, 1936
Fritz Lang's Fury

That Fritz Lang’s Fury opened in May 1936 to good reviews was a shock to the executives at MGM who released it.

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May 29, 1981
Polyester released

After a four-year hiatus, scandalous Baltimore director John Waters returned with some new, um, material on this day in 1981. Polyester marked Waters’ first film after completing his so-called “Trash Trilogy” – Pink Flamingos (1972), Female Trouble (1974) and Desperate Living (1977) – and saw him move into more mainstream territory after that triptych’s shock tactics, most famously encapsulated in the moment in Pink Flamingos when Waters’ drag diva Divine eats freshly delivered doggie doo-doo.

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