Date of Birth : Nov 17th 1942
Iconic American Academy Award winning film director, writer and producer. Also known as “Marty”, he is also the founder of the World Cinema Foundation and a recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award for his contributions to the cinema and has won awards from the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Directors Guild of America. Scorsese is president of the Film Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to film preservation and the prevention of the decaying of motion picture film stock.
Also in 1967, Scorsese made his first feature-length film, the black and white Who’s That Knocking at My Door with fellow student, actor Harvey Keitel, and editor Thelma Schoonmaker both of whom were to become long-term collaborators. This film was a precursor to his later Mean Streets. Even in embryonic form, the “Scorsese style” was already evident: a feel for New York Italian American street-life, rapid editing, an eclectic rock soundtrack and a troubled male protagonist.
Championed by influential movie critic Pauline Kael, Mean Streets was a breakthrough for Scorsese, De Niro and Keitel. By now the signature Scorsese style was in place: macho posturing, bloody violence, Catholic guilt and redemption, gritty New York locale, rapid-fire editing, and a rock soundtrack. Although the film was innovative, its wired atmosphere, edgy documentary style and gritty street-level direction owed a debt to directors Cassavetes and early Jean-Luc Godard.
In 1974 actress Ellen Burstyn chose Scorsese to direct her in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress. Although well regarded, the film remains an anomaly in the director’s early career, as it focuses on a central female character.