This November 17 Martin Scorsese turns 80 years old. Big in world cinema, he arrived at this age after having revolutionized New York cinema in the 1970s and winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes in Taxi Driver in 1976; having established himself as a fundamental filmmaker in the eighties, and today become a legend for moviegoers, who support him in his arguments against the Marvel film empire and his passion for safeguarding and advertising other cinemas beyond Hollywood: his film documentaries American or Italian and the work of his foundation in pursuit of the conservation of African films —without losing pace in his creative drive— have made Scorsese an artist whom later generations try to imitate.
As a child, the New Yorker’s asthma prevented him from playing sports, so his parents and older brother took him, a lot, to see movies. Born in Queens, raised in Little Italy and the Bronx, his parents wanted Scorsese to be a priest, and he even spent a year in the seminary, before movies and life took him in other ways. Since his beginnings as a short filmmaker he has already achieved a certain reputation, which he confirmed with his first feature film, Who is knocking my door? (1967), shot with two fellow students, who became vital signs: actor harvey keitel Y editor Thelma Schoonmaker. And there he continues, 55 years later, with a film in post-production, Killers of the Flower Moon, Y developing material with his production company for Apple TV. Retirement hasn’t knocked on your door yet. Here we choose 15 of his best works available on platforms. But Scorsese is more, much more.
bad streets (1973). Scorsese had already made friends with New Hollywood creators (De Palma, Coppola, Lucas and Spielberg), many of whom grew up under the Roger Corman umbrella, when De Palma introduced him to robert deniro. Thus the triangle of bad streets: Scorsese, De Niro and Keitel in a film with all the ingredients of New York cinema: violence, blood, guilt and Catholic redemption, men eager to prove that they are alpha males. Despite appearances, most of his footage was shot in Los Angeles, where Scorsese was already carving out a career for himself. Available on Prime Video and FlixOlé.
Taxi Driver (1976). The film that reflects the spirit of the times, the descent into hell of a Vietnam veteran taxi driver, loneliness turned into pathology. An instant classic. paul schrader he joined Scorsese’s team as a co-writer, although Travis Bickle’s famous sequence in front of the mirror was born from an improvisation by De Niro. Available on Movistar+.
the last waltz (1978). Of double failure suffered by the bad reception that it had New York, New York and his Broadway musical The Act, both of them with Liza Minnelli, Scorsese went out filming the last waltz, The Band’s farewell concert, the first of the powerful music documentaries with which the filmmaker has found joy throughout his career. Beyond the impressive realization and the magic of the music, there was a disruptive element in that filming: cocaine. Not only because the filmmaker was consuming it non-stop at that time, but because its remains had to be erased from the noses of some of the musicians in post-production. Available in Filmin.
Wild bull (1980). Scorsese’s physical and mental decline due to his addictions pushed his friend De Niro to put him between a rock and a hard place to get him out of drugs, and almost forced him to roll Wild bull, the biography of boxing champion Jake LaMotta, an idea from the actor who had read his memoirs and who got his hands on the script. Although the first thing that the general public remembers from this film is De Niro’s brutal physical transformation to give life to both the boxer in his glory in the ring and in his low hours recounting his life in the clubs (27 kilos of weight difference). , in Wild bull there is more, much more: Scorsese thought that this was going to be his last film in the US, where no one else would hire him, and he shot without limits or censorship, which is noticeable on screen. Available in Filmin.
Whoa, what a night! (1985). A black comedy shot on a very low budget, asking friends to make cameos, and with a character chaining misadventures and disagreements through Manhattan’s SoHo. Over time, this dark vision of the soul and the New York night has gained integers as a cult film. In addition, it served for Scorsese to finally give way to his next project, a controversial work that he had been thinking about shooting for a while. Available on HBO Max and Movistar+.
The last temptation of Christ (1988). The last ten minutes of this film are some of the best in Scorsese’s career and therefore in the history of cinema: in them Jesus Christ renounces the temptation of the devil who has offered him a happy life with Mary Magdalene and understands that the only possible path to his existence is through the crucifixion. Willem Dafoe perfectly understands the doubts of his character, and Scorsese thus begins a series of films that have focused on spirituality, its strength and its contradictions, which he has been directing throughout his career. Available on Netflix and Filmin.
One of ours (1990). From 1985 to 1997 Scorsese chained one shoot after another. There is no one to stop him. And among the jewels of this period stands out One of ours (Goodfellas), a thriller of mobsters that is actually a dissection of the human condition and of friendship relationships mediated by money: “Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster,” says Henry Hill, the real character played by the late Ray Liotta. The shot in the cafeteria of De Niro and Liotta’s chat, Liotta destroyed by cocaine thinking that a helicopter is after him, Joe Pesci unleashed, the entrance in a sequence shot to the Copacabana… All in One of ours it is masterful. By the way, third Oscar nomination for Best Director for its creator, third loss. Available on HBO Max.
The Age of Innocence (1993). Scorsese is a camera virtuoso, a master of cinema, and he shows it in any film genre. Example: the adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel about the New York upper class of the late 19th century. And in reality it is a romantic film, which talks about missed opportunities, vital restrictions and truncated love, in which the historical era serves as a framework. Scorsese was with Schoonmaker mounting it for a whole year, and he considers this his most violent work, and not physically, but psychologically. Another sequence shot for glory: the one with the camera entering the richly draped halls, swaying and making its way through the people. Available only for rent on Apple TV, RakutenTV and Amazon.
A personal journey with Martin Scorsese through American cinema (nineteen ninety five). A great example of Scorsese’s passion and deep knowledge of cinema, four essential hours that go from the birth of American cinema to 1969, where the tour ends so that the director does not have to talk about himself; and he focuses on the four aspects that are most important to him in a filmmaker: as a narrator, as an illusionist, as a smuggler who sneaks messages on the screen and as an iconoclast. Available in Filmin.
casino (nineteen ninety five). watch in a row One of ours Y casino It is the best plan for fans of Scorsese’s mafia cinema. As in other of the director’s films, the protagonist discovers that he cannot control his life, that unpredictable forces will always appear beyond the greed and lust for power harbored by the casino manager and his crime partners. One of Sharon Stone’s best performances. Available on Movistar+.
New York gang (2002). Gangs, fights and violence, power struggles, New York. No matter the time, it is Scorsese terrain. And here he travels to 1862, to the southern Manhattan of those years, in what was the first of his films with Leonardo DiCaprio, a collaboration that still continues today (De Niro was the one who told the filmmaker about DiCaprio’s talent). The result could be better, because Scorsese had to fight his producer, Harvey Weinstein, in the montage. Available on HBO Max, Filmin and Prime Video.
The Aviator (2004). Tycoon Howard Hughes deserved a biopic lives up to his riotous existence, and Scorsese delivers it with DiCaprio in a huge performance. It is also a bath of stars, those that made up the classic Hollywood through which his money and the talent of Ella Hughes passed (hence that Katharine Hepburn meticulously reconstructed by Cate Blanchett). On this occasion, Scorsese (who put part of his salary to pay for the end of the film) has the artistic luxury of playing with colors to highlight each change of time in the narrative. Available on HBO Max and Netflix.
Departed (2006). It’s not Scorsese’s best work, it shouldn’t even be among his 15 selected productions. Even more, like remake is far from the original Hong Kong movie, Dirty game (2002), by Andrew Lau and Alan Mank. But it meant, finally, the sixth nomination, that the filmmaker won the Oscar for best direction. In total, as a director, writer and producer, he has been nominated 14 times, and he has only won it with this intertwined story of moles in the police and undercover agents in the Boston Irish mob. Available on HBO Max.
The wolf of Wall Street (2013). Like no other filmmaker, Scorsese has managed to capture on screen the rush of drugs, the alteration of rhythms and perceptions that narcotics cause. The wolf of Wall Street exemplifies that ability through the rise and fall of the broker Jordan Belfort, from the court that he created around him with a profit made by playing on the fringes of the law. Available on Netflix.
the Irish (2019). Beyond De Niro’s bad digital facelift, the Irish shows that Scorsese is indefatigable. It may be the most measured film of the New Yorker’s gangster titles, who decided to derive the usual electricity of his narration to more underground feelings. But with Scorsese there is always blood, emotional explosions. Now, for the first time, a twilight tone appears in the narrative; the film could have been titled The man who killed Jimmy Hoffa, paraphrasing John Ford’s western. A glorious cast, with De Niro, Pesci, Al Pacino, Anna Paquin or Harvey Keitel; some changes of rhythm and time marked by the editing, songs to build the soul of the sequences… The Scorsese style, opted for a platform, Netflix, the only one that dared to finance The Irish. Available on Netflix.
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