An American Master - Martin Scorsese

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Martin Scorsese was born in 1942 in New York City, and was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later provided the inspiration for several of his films. Martin Scorsese earned a B.S. degree in film communications in 1964, followed by an M.A. in the same field in 1966 at New York University’s School of Film. During this time, he made numerous prize-winning short films including “The Big Shave.” In 1968, Scorsese directed his first feature film, entitled “Who's That Knocking At My Door?” He served as assistant director and an editor of the documentary “Woodstock” in 1970 and won critical and popular acclaim for his 1973 film “Mean Streets.” Mr. Scorsese directed his first documentary film, “Italianamerican,” in 1974. In 1976, Mr. Scorsese’s cult classic film “Taxi Driver” was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. He followed with the artistic “New York, New York” in 1977, “The Last Waltz” in 1978 and the gripping “Raging Bull” in 1980, which received eight Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Mr. Scorsese went on to direct the renown “The Color of Money,” the controversial “The Last Temptation of Christ,” the legendary “Goodfellas,” the edge of the seat thriller “Cape Fear,” the classic masterpiece “Casino,” the romantic “The Age of Innocence,” and "Kundun" among other films.

In 1996, Martin Scorsese completed a four-hour documentary, “A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies,” co-directed by Michael Henry Wilson. The documentary was commissioned by the British Film Institute to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of cinema. In 2001 Mr. Scorsese released “Il Mio Viaggio in Italia,” an epic documentary that affectionately chronicles his love for Italian Cinema. His long-cherished project, the masterful “Gangs of New York,” was released in 2002, earning numerous critical honors, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Director. In 2003, PBS broadcast the seven-film documentary series “Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues.” “The Aviator” was released in December of 2004 and earned five Academy Awards®, in addition to the Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for Best Picture. In 2005, “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan” was broadcast as part of the “American Masters” series on PBS. In 2006, “The Departed” was released to critical acclaim and was honored with the Director’s Guild of America, Golden Globe, New York Film Critics, National Board of Review and Critic’s Choice awards for Best Director, in addition to four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Director. Martin Scorsese’s love of music and its homage continued with his documentary of the Rolling Stones in concert, “Shine a Light,” which was released in 2008. In February 2010, the edgy thriller “Shutter Island” premiered. That year, Mr. Scorsese also released two documentaries: the Peabody Award-winning “A Letter to Elia” on PBS; and “Public Speaking,” starring writer Fran Lebowitz on HBO. In October 2011, Martin Scorsese’s documentary for HBO, “George Harrison: Living in the Material World,” was released.

Martin Scorsese also serves as executive producer on HBO’s hit series “Boardwalk Empire,” for which he directed the pilot episode. The series went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Television Series Drama and Mr. Scorsese took home the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Dramatic Series.

Martin Scorsese’s additional awards and honors include the Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival (1995), the AFI Life Achievement Award (1997), the Honoree at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 25th Gala Tribute (1998), the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award (2003), The Kennedy Center Honors (2007) and the HFPA Cecil B. DeMille Award (2010). Martin Scorsese is the founder and chair of The Film Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of motion picture history. At the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, Mr. Scorsese launched the World Cinema Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of neglected films from around the world, with special attention paid to those developing countries lacking the financial and technical resources to do the work themselves. Mr. Scorsese is the founder and chair. Martin Scorsese is the producer and director of the lauded film HUGO, which is a touching story, that pays tribute to the early days of motion picture, as well as captures the determination to not let go of ones dreams and determination.


A film scholar, and a gentleman, the brilliant and legendary artist that is Martin Scorsese is a powerhouse of culture through motion picture and a genius whose inspiration, limits, and creative uniqueness knows no bounds. His work in motion picture, television, and the arts is iconic, and his humble, gentle demeanor embodies the true greatness that is this living, modern master of our time, and for times to come.

The Hollywood Sentinel, © 2012, © A.M.P.A.S., All rights reserved.