Life Lessons

Directed by Martin Scorsese, 1989

Written by Richard Price


What do you make of the central relationship in the film, between Lionel Dobie and Paulette? Does either of them love the other? Where is the power in the relationship? Who is using whom?

Consider the role of the music (1960s rock; and also opera) that Lionel plays on his boom box.

How does the film ask us to consider the relation between the artist as a person (Lionel), and his paintings?

How does Scorsese stylize his presentation of the movie? What does he do with the camera? How does he edit the film? What points of view are expressed through the director's presentation of the story?