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Director Martin Scorsese has produced some of the most memorable films in cinema history, including the iconic Taxi Driver and Academy Award-winner The Departed.
Watch a short video about Martin Scorsese and learn the same lessons that he taught his students about drawing from experiences when making films.
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At the age of 10, Steven Spielberg took his father's 8mm camera and started filming home movies. By 1975, Spielberg became one of the most powerful directors in Hollywood when "Jaws" became an instant blockbuster.
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Apparently, it also inspired an unstable John Hinckley to attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan five years later. "I never thought in a million years there was a connection with the film," Scorsese later recalled. "It turned out even my limo driver was FBI."
Scorsese and De Niro struck gold together once more in their 1980 picture Raging Bull,
based on the life of troubled boxer Jake LaMotta. Expecting it to be his last feature film, Scorsese decided to "pull out all the stops and then find a new career." Although initial reactions were mixed due to the picture's violent nature, Raging Bull is now widely considered to be one of the greatest movies of all time.
Abandoning thoughts of leaving the industry, Scorsese continued to make films through the 1980s, directing his first huge box-office success, The Color of Money, in 1986.
The 1990s saw the release of two of Scorsese's most important Mafia movies to date: GoodFellas, a 1990 film based on the life of former gangster Henry Hill, and Casino, a 1995 film about the rise and fall of the gambling underworld during the 1970s. Although he has joked that he should make "another film about Italian Americans where they're not gangsters," Scorsese also believes that "there is no such thing as pointless violence" on-screen. "Deep down you want to think that people are really good—but the reality outweighs that."
In an American Express print ad, Scorsese once revealed that his "wildest dream" was to write music. While he seems unlikely to become a rock star or conduct an orchestra, he did use his filmmaking talents to make his mark on the music industry. In 1978, Scorsese made an acclaimed documentary called The Last Waltz, showcasing the farewell performance of The Band, with guest performances by Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters. In addition to being hailed as one of the greatest concert movies of all time, The Last Waltz was then spoofed in Rob Reiner's landmark 1984 mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap.
Since the turn of the millennium, Scorsese has renewed his on-screen exploration of his musical passions. In 2003, he completed an ambitious, seven-part documentary series called The Blues; the accompanying boxed set won two Grammies. Two years later, his Bob Dylan documentary, No Direction Home, aired on PBS as part of the American Masters series. Using archive footage from a 2006 concert, Scorsese then directed a Rolling Stones documentary in 2008 called Shine a Light.
The past decade has also highlighted a renewed vigor in Scorsese's feature-film offerings. Leonardo DiCaprio has become Scorsese's go-to actor for lead roles, starring in Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006)—which won Scorsese his first Best Director Oscar—and Shutter Island (2010). Many have drawn parallels between the pair's blossoming film dynamic and the one Scorsese once had with De Niro—and audiences aren't the only ones who are grateful. "He saved me," DiCaprio said. "I was headed down a path of being one kind of actor, and he helped me become another one. The one I wanted to be." Scorsese worked with DiCaprio once again in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), which gained the iconic director another Oscar nomination.
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
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From the early days of film, directors have transported audiences from darkened movie theaters to memorable worlds of their own creations. Their artistic visions and technical innovations have made a lasting impression on cinema from early silent films, starring and directed by Charlie Chaplin, to the psychological thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock to the blockbuster hits of Steven Spielberg and so many more. Here is a look at the famous film directors who have made their mark on the big screen.
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