When Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Age of Innocence’ was released, I was stunned. I knew him as a fabulist of gangster tales, mired firmly in the present or the not-so-distant past. It did not seem to me that he would be able to handle delicacy or nuance, at least in the form delivered in Edith Wharton’s great novel. Wrong I was! This film turned out to be a masterwork of great subtlety, among the more complex of Scorsese’s films. Milad Tangshir does the film great justice with this beautiful 17-minute examination, which includes commentary from Scorsese and also from Thelma Schoonmaker, his wondrous collaborator in the editing room; among the many good points he makes here is one which he keeps coming back to, which is that Scorsese used the camera in his film as a way of both telling the story and expressing his emotional involvement with the book itself. Additionally, the essay makes the very good point that concealment, ritual, lace, formality, and all such associated restrictions heighten the eroticism in the story, rather than squelching it.
Watch: Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Age of Innocence’ Tells a Story Through Concealment