Hollywood Spotlight: Martin Scorsese

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The talented, Hollywood director Martin Scorsese has been a powerful mainstay in the entertainment industry for decades. His contributions to Hollywood span generations and garner myriad accolades and awards. Most importantly, many of movies have become classics of their age. And for these reasons, we focus our Hollywood Spotlight in his direction.

A Promising Beginning

Martin Scorsese first fell in love with film as a child in New York. As his health precluded him from playing with other children, he developed an interest in film. Originally, he intended to join the priesthood. When that vocation did not come to fruition, he enrolled in New York University. Eventually, the future famous director earned a Masters of Fine Arts from the prestigious university. 

In 1967, Martin Scorsese made his directorial debut with the semi-autobiographical Who’s That Knocking at My Door. He also wrote the movie’s script. While it took a number of years to create, upon its release, critics praised the film. In fact, notable critic Roger Ebert anticipated Martin Scorsese’s eventual Hollywood success.

The talented director reprised the characters from Who’s That Knocking at My Door for 1973’s Mean Streets. This film introduced audiences to the techniques and themes that became so prevalent in his body of work. Also, Mean Streets brought Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro together for the first time.

Building a Successful Hollywood Career

The critic’s assessments of Martin Scorsese’s promise were correct. 1976’s Taxi Driver received numerous award nominations. And, even today, the film is universally considered one of the best movies of all time. He followed that success with Raging Bull (1980). Immediately following its release, the director worried about his future in Hollywood as the movie did not perform well in the box office. However, many critics loved the film. In fact, some ventured to say Raging Bull was his best film. As such, the movie garnered an impressive eight Oscar nods. 

Featuring Himself… and a Few Favorites

Famed Hollywood director Alfred Hitchcock made cameo appearances in over half of his movies. Like Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese also appears in many of his movies. In fact, he has made a cameo appearance in nearly each one. And often these appearances play a small but key part in the movement of the plot rather than just a casual walk-on.

In addition, the director also has a small group of actors that frequently in appear in his movies. For example, since his acting debut in Who’s That Knocking at My Door, Harvey Keitel appears in more than a handful of Martin Scorsese films. Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has five full-length Martin Scorsese movies and one short film on his resume. And since first working together on Mean Streets, the famous Robert De Niro has done an impressive nine full and one short movie collaborations with the Hollywood director. 

An Award-Winning Hollywood Director

Martin Scorsese has earned a number of awards for his directing skills. Gangs of New York (2002) and Hugo (2011) each earned Golden Globes for Best Director – Motion Picture.  He also  has an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a documentary about Bob Dylan. And impressively, this Hollywood director has even won a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video! However, despite earning recognition for his movies throughout his Hollywood career from a variety of industry outlets, it was only in recent years that Martin Scorsese received his first Oscar. In 2007, he won the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing for The Departed (2006). Notably, in October of this year, the Rome Film Festival honored the proud Italian with a lifetime achievement award.  

Some other notable movies from this skilled celebrity include New York, New York (1977), The Color of Money (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Goodfellas (1991), Cape Fear (1991), Casino (1995), The Aviator (2004), Shutter Island (2010), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and Silence (2016). 

A Devotion to Film

In 1990, Martin Scorsese honored his love of movies by creating The Film Foundation. The nonprofit seeks to preserve movie history by painstakingly restoring films. Because of the organization’s success, the Hollywood director began the World Cinema Foundation, and off-shoot of The Film Foundation that focuses its restoration energies on foreign film. The Film Foundation also has an educational program designed to teach film history. 

Upcoming Projects

In 2019, Martin Scorsese fans will delight in his ultimate collaboration to date. The Irishman, a movie about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, has an impressive cast. Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Ray Romano, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, and Jesse Plemons will lend their acting skills to the production. And even Scorsese favorites Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel have joined the cast!

The Irishman is the first film Martin Scorsese has directed for Netflix. This is a movie that should go to the top of the queue. And with the all-star cast and the famous Hollywood director at the helm, we know we are in for a treat!

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