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A Lost Time Re-created

June 2024
1min read

The Age of Innocence

directed by Martin Scorsese, Columbia Tristar Home Video, 138mins., $95.95 . CODE: BAT -1

See Martin Scorsese’s fine movie not just for its absorbing and tough-minded exposition of how a social organism moves to protect itself against the incursions of potentially destabilizing outsiders but also for some marvelously persuasive, full-blown visions of the Manhattan of a little more than a century ago: a teeming scene of Broadway; an inaugural Upper Fifth Avenue mansion patrolling the level, still unbuilt wastes north of Forty-second Street like a gorgeous, solitary battle cruiser. Equally impressive is the way the film takes those nineteenth-century interiors with their bibelots and vitrines and swags and close-hung paintings—the crowded rooms that embody the Victorian at its most drably claustrophobic when we see them in the old photographs—and gives them the darkly shining burnish of life, as their owners move through them with ease and casual pride.

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