Lateral Deviations: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and questions of authorship

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    The recent Martin Scorsese retrospective at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne has prompted renewed interest in the director's oeuvre, providing an excellent opportunity to revisit some of his lesser-known works. Scorsese's first studio film, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), is one such title.1 Despite its commercial success, Alice is a relative obscurity compared to Scorsese's two narrative features that bookend it: Mean Streets (1973) and Taxi Driver (1976). Alice is a challenging outlier in an auteurist consideration of Scorsese's career: while he continues to hone the stylistic hallmarks that he employed in Mean Streets, Alice's subject matter is atypical, its woman-centric narrative at odds with the general thematic inclinations of this distinctly macho director. Furthermore, the creative involvement of Alice star Ellen Burstyn, who plays the titular character, throughout the production challenges assumptions over the singularity of Scorsese's directorial vision, in turn calling into question the status of authorship in the Hollywood studio film.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)116-121
    Number of pages6
    JournalScreen Education
    Issue number84
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


    • Scorsese, Martin
    • Australian Centre for the moving image
    • Media literacy


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