When I was working like crazy to get my Masters degree in Production Design at NYU I returned to the Tisch School of the Arts building late one afternoon to pick up a book when I noticed a crowd waiting. I asked what was going on and someone told me that Martin Scorsese was giving an informal talk to film students.
There are few in the film-world who’s work I respect more than Mr. Scorsese’s, so I went in. He was all that I expected and more. I have put together this little bio. and list of films to honor the man I met and spoke with that day. The information included in the next section I picked up from IMDb.com, thanks guys.
Martin Marcantonio Luciano Scorsese, or just Marty to his friends, was born in 1942 and raised in Manhattan’s Little Italy, New York City. Scorsese earned his BA and then MA degrees at New York University in 1966 . During his time there, he made quite a few great shot-films and made his directing debut with, Who’s That Knocking at My Door in 1967. After he graduated his first big job was as an assistant director of the very cool documentary Woodstock in 1970. His first well-known film to receive critical acclaim was Mean Streets in 1973, which didn’t quite make my list, but was great just the same. This was also the first film in which he worked with Robert De Niro, which marked a kind of moment in history as they worked and collaborated brilliantly on many films later on. Scorsese went on to direct an incredible amount of award-winning films over the next 30 years including several on this list, plus movies, like Cape Fear in 1991, the controversial Last Temptation of Christ in 1988, and the epic Kun Dun in 1997. The following list represents the films I think are the best of his career so far.
#8 – Shutter Island (2010)
Writers: Laeta Kalogridis
Novel By: Dennis Lehane
This is a creepy thriller set in 1954, and mostly takes place in an island prison mental institution. A Federal Marshal named Teddy Daniels is sent to investigate the disappearance of a woman who has reportedly escaped from the hospital. She was sent there for murder and they think she is still hiding on the island. As the story unfolds we are faced with some of the most bizarre twists you can imagine. This is a really cool film.
#7 – Taxi Driver (1976)
Writer: Paul Schrader
One of his grittiest. This film was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s basically about a disturbed Viet Nam vet. who is a taxi driver on the New York City night shift. The violence and debauchery of the city slowly turns him into a kind of unbalanced vigilante, and he attempts to save an underage prostitute who is far too jaded for her years.