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52 Ratings

The 50 Year Argument

United States, 2014


Martin Scorsese co-directs this documentary tribute to the New York Review of Books, whose six-decade history saw it frequently on the frontlines of cultural and political debate.

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The 50 Year Argument Directed by Martin Scorsese, David Tedeschi
The film does a variably engrossing and even cinematic job of conveying the publication’s sensibility and intellectual voraciousness… It’s hard not to admire Robert Silvers, theNYRB’s editor since 1963, although this somewhat sprawling movie lacks a central figure with the screen presence of Fran Lebowitz, the subject of Scorsese’s Public Speaking from 2010.
October 04, 2014
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The 50 Year Argument makes not just a compelling case for the importance of a publication the New York Review of Books but also, by its conclusion, for the written word itself. The film is something of a paean to the value and power of the editor—not just as a figure who helps writers communicate their ideas in clear sentences, but as one who shapes the overall voice, tone, and concerns of a publication over time.
September 29, 2014
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It is a sober, highly subjective, unashamedly hagiographic history of a very special publication… Scorsese and co-director Tedeschi celebrate the NYRB as only its admirers can. I must say, I cannot pretend to be objective about the film: this is the only publication I consistently subscribe to, for one. That said, this is the type of doc in which the content alone makes it well worth watching and reviewing.
September 26, 2014
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