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Outline and Resources

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Director Martin Charles Scorsese

Director’s Life and Career

Martin Charles Scorsese in an American movie director and producer who has participated actively in the entertainment industry for a period spanning fifty three years. He was born in November 1942. In his illustrious career, he has been involved in screen writing and to some extent acting. In most of his works, Martin has concentrated on some issues that have become part of his major themes. A short while after his birth, Martin’s parents relocated to Manhattan where he started his education. In what seems like a gene in the family, Martins father had a stint in acting while his mother also participated in the same. After some time, Martin and his parents emigrated to Palermo in Italy where he continued with his studies. It is also necessary to realize that he was brought up in a devoted catholic environment and that might have had an influence in his later works where he featured catholic faith and doctrines in some of his movies.

Records indicate that as Martin grew up, he had a medical condition that could not allow him to take part in sporting activities like any other boys. Instead, his elder brother would occasionally take him to watch movies in cinemas. It is during these moments that he developed a keen interest in cinema. In addition, it is one of these films that he watched which impacted on his life and pushed him to get involved in the industry. The film was Black Narcissus. In various forums, Martin has cited Sabu and Victor Mature as some of the actors who influenced his youth life.


As a stepping stone to his career, Martin attended Tisch School of Arts in New York University. Early in his career, Martin did some short films between 1963 and 1967. Though they were part of his initial works, it is worth noting that they received quite a positive public approval. Those movies included ‘The Big Shave’ and ‘It’s not just you, Murray’. Later in the 70s, Martin met some industry personalities who greatly influenced his activities in the field. Some of the persons included Brian De Palma, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Ina documentary, Woodstock (1970) Martin became an assistant director to one of the editors. It was also in this process that he met John Cassavetes who later became his mentor and close friend.

Some of Martin Scorsese most notable films

After the documentary released in 1970, Martin had an opportunity to work with other people to produce some incredible movies. During this period, Martin directed a movie called ‘Mean Streets’ which was received well even by renowned movie critics such as Pauline Kael. The response was very amazing and that ignited the fire under the belly of the upcoming director to launch his own projects rather that help other individuals. From there, he moved on to direct other items such as Catholic guilt and redemption, Macho Posturing, Bloody Violence and many other pieces.

In 1974, Martin directed the movie ‘Alice doesn’t live here anymore’. The actress, Ellen Burstyn, went ahead to win Academy awards for the best actress that year. In spite of that, his role was not appreciated by the majority of the industry stakeholders. Nonetheless, he went ahead to execute a lot more duties which earned him a reputation in the ever competitive field. When he went back to Italy, Martin did a documentary named ‘Italianamerican’ which mainly featured his parents as the characters.

In 1976, Martin was already a household name in the movie production industry. He developed a movie called ‘Taxi driver’ which served to push his reputation to the stratospheric limits. During the same period, Martin also directed ‘American Boy’ a documentary that received a considerable public approval.

In the recent years, Martin has produced a plethora of award winning movies that have helped him maintain his position as one of the worlds most gifted and talented movie directors that the market has seen. From the period of 2010 going forward, Martin directed films such as The Sopranos, Hugo, which is a drama film among a host of other movies. In 2013, Martin collaborated with other stars in the sector to produce the movie, ‘The wolf of the wall street’. The movie depicted some of the malpractices that take place in the American Financial sector which in turn hit hard on the ordinary citizens.

The honors and awards that Martin Scorsese has received

With this kind of an illustrious career, it would be surprising for Martin to have missed any major award in his lifetime. In 1997, Martin was awarded the AFI Life Achievement award which was in appreciation to his numerous accomplishments in the movie industry. From there, things only got better. In 1998, three movies that martin directed and produced were ranked by the American Film Institute to be in their list of the greatest movies in the American history. The Films in question included. Fast forward into 2007, Scorsese found himself in the list of one hundred most influential people, a list that was published by Time magazine. In the same year, Total Film magazine named him as the second best movie director of all time. That is by no means a mean achievement.

Furthermore, in the same year of 2007, The Kennedy Honors center named Scorsese as one of the most influential individuals in America in terms of social and cultural contributions. In 2011, during the Primetime Emmy awards, Martin Scorsese was awarded for his outstanding directing roles in one of the drama series that he had directed. In 2012, he also won two Emmy awards for his work in directing the Nonfiction programming and also the Nonfiction special.

Comment on two Films directed by Martin Scorsese

The two selected Films by Scorsese that are to be commented upon are the ‘Taxi driver’ and the ‘Goodfellas’. The Taxi driver is a vintage film that was written by Paul Schrader and directed by Martin Scorsese. The movie had been nominated in four academy awards and is often cited by critics to be one of the best movies of a lifetime. The movie is an excellent, almost flawless piece of work that captures the imagination of the viewers and yet provides a lot of lessons to be learnt. However, some people have criticized it for being too violent especially in the scene when a thirteen year old girl is present during a particular shoot out.

The other movie due for comment is the Goodfellas. It is a 1990 film that was also directed by Scorsese. The theme of the movie is crime and it has done much to bring to light some of the dealings that go on in the American criminal network. It has a lot of cultural and social significance to the American society as a whole. The style that was used by Scorsese in the Film is also admirable and has since been used in other films.

How the director applied specific styles in the two films

Editing; just as in any modern films, Taxi driver and Goodfellas have been professionally edited so as to achieve particular desired effects. In Taxi driver, there is a particular scene where Travis Bickle kills the male companion of a prostitute so that he may get to her. The level of editing in that portion is plausible and makes it appear to me like a reality. On the other hand, the same editing has been used to make some effects especially in situations where the script writer intended to have extreme manifestation of violence.

Sound and music; sound and music have become essential parts of any movie in the modern times. In Taxi driver, music has been used skillfully to achieve some desired effects. For example, De Niro’s voice is soft but it appears that he was in a very noisy and disorganized street that had loud music. That sharp contrast between the two facts has a huge effect on the overall outcome of the Film. On Goodfellas, since there is quite a lot of sound tracks that the director used in a manner that would gel with the prevailing environment.

Cinematography; cinematography is the making of motion pictures. It is usually necessary to make sure that there is a coherent flow from one scene to another in a manner that makes it easy for the audience to understand the flow of the story. It also involves the use of certain visual effects in order to achieve some desired picture quality. In both pictures, there is a lot of violence taking place and that means the shedding of blood. Scorsese came up with a perfect mix of colors to ensure that the color of blood was as close as possible to the normal blood such that those watching could actually see and feel blood flowing. That was a crucial element that was applied in both films.

Special camera work; in his typical nature, both films directed by Scorsese demonstrate a mature handling of the camera. For example, there are steady pictures that have got the right quality of light. Watching the entire film, it would be difficult for anyone to notice a situation where the camera is poorly handled. Besides, the position of the camera is done in such a perfect manner that it is able to bring pictures from any direction without losing the quality in them.

Special effects; ordinarily, the characters in a movie are always capable of doing extraordinary things that only happen in movies. In Taxi driver, in some scenes, the racing of the car is an indication of the creative works of the producers. The manner in which the car skid and makes bends shows creative works of the director and that serves to make the film attractive to the audience. The same is also true for most of the scenes in the Goodfellas.

Director Martin Charles Scorsese

  • Director’s Life and Career
  • Career
  • Some of Martin Scorsese most notable films
  • The honors and awards that Martin Scorsese has received
  • Comment on two Films directed by Martin Scorsese
  • How the director applied particular methods in the two films
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