Since his emergence in the early seventies, Martin Scorsese has become one of the most respected names in cinema. Classics such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas are regularly cited as being among the finest films ever made.
‘Basically, you make another movie, and another, and hopefully you feel good about every picture you make. And you say, “My name is on that. I did that. It’s OK.” But don’t get me wrong, I still get excited by it all. That, I hope, will never disappear.’ – Martin Scorsese
Born in New York City in 1942 to Sicilian-American parents, Scorsese spent much of his childhood absorbing the sights and sounds of Little Italy from the balcony of his family’s tenement apartment – music blaring, drunks brawling and neighbourhood kids playing stickball. A lifelong asthma sufferer, he took no part in his friends’ games and instead fell in love with cinema at an early age, crafting intricate storyboards for as-yet-unmade Westerns and Roman epics. This long apprenticeship paid off in 1962 when Scorsese was accepted onto a film course at New York University and immediately attracted attention with a series of quirky and technically accomplished student shorts.
Having made his breakthrough with the gritty Mean Streets (1973), Scorsese outgrew his early reputation as a virtuoso of violence, creating films as diverse as a nineteenth-century literary romance, The Age of Innocence (1993), a dramatization of the early life of the Dalai Lama, Kundun (1997), and a 3D children’s fantasy, Hugo (2011).
This lavish retrospective is a fitting tribute to a remarkable director, now into his sixth decade in cinema and showing no signs of slowing up. Leading film writer Tom Shone draws on his in-depth knowledge and distinctive viewpoint to present refreshing commentaries on all twenty-three main features, from the rarely shown Who’s That Knocking at My Door (1967) to the latest release, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), as well as covering Scorsese’s notable parallel career as a documentary maker.