Most Influential Film Directors: Martin Scorsese

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Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese is one of the most widely acclaimed directors in the whole film industry. He is an American director that has worked on a huge number of award winning films, recipient to a number of awards and one of the founders of the World Cinema Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to preserve and bring back the lights on world cinema.

Martin Scorsese - Indie Birds

Martin Scorsese

With the number of films and acclaims that the director has received throughout his career, it is very difficult to pinpoint his best work. Unlike many directors in the industry who go through dry spells and periods of no productivity, Martin Scorsese just kept making one hit after another. For many film enthusiasts, a top favorite Scorsese work would probably be the Raging Bull starred by the equally award-winning Robert de Niro. The film was released in the 1980’s and told of the life story of middleweight boxer Jake La Motta. The work was dubbed as the greatest film of the 1980’s by Sight and Sound Magazine, the official publication of the prestigious British Film Institute.

The movie was actually brought into Scorsese’s table by actor Robert De Niro who later on became the lead actor of the film. Although hesitant with the piece at first, the director later came to connect with the middle weight boxer’s life story. The movie was also starred by Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty and Nicholas Colasanto. Although the film garnered mixed reviews during its debut in December 1980, it later on started to pick up positive light and recognition among top film critics.

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Raging Bull also made it big in the Oscars as it took home 8 awards which included Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director Award – Scorsese’s first. The film was also considered to be Robert De Niro’s most brilliant work as well. The actor went to great heights changing his appearance, actually gaining weight for the last half of the film. Robert De Niro later on became one of the closest and most frequent actors that collaborated with Scorsese.

Aside from the brilliant acting, many film experts also attributed the movies success to the way the film was made itself. The movie was made with an extreme style of expressionism, making use of slow motion shots and the constant distortions of perspective. The movie was considered to be the very first to capture the real action, brutality and art in boxing with sensational, never made before shots. The entire film was also shot in black and white which added more to the intensity and the emotion of the film. This art of movie making, after the film’s release became one of the most replicated in the movie industry.

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After the film, Scorsese went on to creating other award winning works for over the next three decades. In 1990, the United States Library of Congress added the film into the National Film Registry for preservation dubbing it as “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant”. In 2001, the American Film Institute also included the film, together with his other work, Taxi Driver into their list of The Most Heart Pounding Movies in America.


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