Movie critic, Roger Ebert, has called him a “directing god”. He has been called the “most influential and best director of their time” by fellow director, George Lucas. Director Martin Scorsese has been an influential director for the past twenty years. In the 60’s class of directors that included, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, and Steven Spielberg. Scorsese ranks with this class of artists, and his movies have changed the film industry of America (Friedman I). The impact of Scorsese can be shown in a number of ways, such as his style of directing, the films that he has made, and also the relationships that he has made in the film industry.
The first is his directorial skills, which are second to none. Scorsese doesn’t just set up the scene, he paints images and feelings into our minds by using camera shots that have become his trademark in the film institution. Another reason for his great success is the films that he directs and the actors he uses. He also has picked certain actors (notable Robert DeNiro) to portray his characters (Kelly 25). In the ruthless business of Hollywood, Scorsese has built loyalties to actor, screen writes and editors whom he uses in many of his films (Kelly 26).
Martin Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in the East Side of Queens, New York, in an area called “Little Italy.” Little Italy consisted of about ten blocks, but as Scorsese talks about it, each block had there own “boundaries” where everyone stayed. He grew up on Elizabeth Street, and he spent much of his time in the movie theater(Scorsese 17). As he was growing up, he had strong Catholic roots in his Italian heritage that would later influence such films as Mean Streets, Goodfellas, etc (Scorsese 18).
Growing up, Scorsese was not thinking of becoming a director, but rather a priest. In fact, he went to college to become a priest. He ended up dropping out his first semester, and then attending New York University film school. At NYU, he made several student films that received praise from the school. One short film called Who’s That Knocking at My Door starred a young Harvey Keitel. Scorsese financed and made this film entirely by himself. He went on to making documentaries, and then was hired by producer Roger Corman and directed a low budget film, Boxcar Bertha. This opened the door to H...
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...sese builds up incredible tension, and often ends his films on a sad note. Such as in Meanstreets the character Robert DeNiro plays gets shot and dies. In Casino everyone gets killed and his wife leaves him. In Goodfellas Henry Hill has to go into the witness protection program (Scorsese 43).
Martin Scorsese has always done something different to distinguish himself from other directors. An example can be seen in Raging Bull. When it first came out, another boxing film, Rocky was coming out. So, to distinguish it from that film, Scorsese directed the film in black and white (Kellman 251). Another way, in which Scorsese sets himself apart, is through his use of music. The music that he uses in the scene depicts the mood as well as the setting of the film. In Goodfellas and Casino they he plays 60’s Italian music to make the scenes actually seam more like it is really that time (Kelly 104).
In conclusion, Scrosese has become one of the greatest and noted directors in film history. Recently, he received a “Life Time” achievement award by the American Film Institution (AFI) for his influence on film. This summer, Scorsese will work in Rome, Italy on his new film, Gangs.
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