Scorsese, Martin (skôrsāˈzē, –sĕzˈē) [key], 1942–, American film director; b. Queens, N.Y. A major figure in contemporary cinema, he grew up in Manhattan's Little Italy, attended film school at New York Univ., made his first feature-length film in 1968, and scored his first success with Mean Streets (1973). Often dealing with violent and obsessive aspects of modern America and focusing on Italian-American characters, Scorsese's films frequently feature a struggling hero and themes of sin and redemption. His major movies include Taxi Driver (1976), a harrowing urban morality tale; Raging Bull (1979), a look into the savage world of boxing; Goodfellas (1990), an exploration of the brutalities of Mob life; and Gangs of New York (2002), a violent epic of life in Manhattan's 19th-century slums.
Among Scorsese's other films are Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), New York, New York (1977), The King of Comedy (1983), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The Age of Innocence (1993), Casino (1995), Kundun (1998), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006, Academy Award), Shutter Island (2010), and Hugo (2011), an enchanting children's movie and his first 3-D film. His A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies (1995) and Il Mio Viaggio in Italia [my journey in Italy] (2001), reflections on great filmmaking in the United States and Italy, provide revealing glimpses into the influences that have shaped his art, and his documentaries on music and musicians encompass such topics as The Band in its farewell concert ( The Last Waltz, 1978), the Delta blues ( Feel like Going Home, 2003), and Bob Dylan ( No Direction Home, 2005).
See D. Thompson and I. Christie, ed., Scorsese on Scorsese (rev. ed. 2004); P. Brunette, ed., Martin Scorsese: Interviews (rev. ed. 2006); biography by V. LoBrutto (2007); studies by M. Weiss (1987), D. Ehrenstein (1992), L. Keyser (1992), M. K. Connelly (1993), M. Bliss (1985 and 1995), L. Stern (1995), L. S. Friedman (1997), A. Dougan (1998), L. Grist (2000), G. Seesslen (2003), M. T. Miliora (2004), M. Nicholls (2004), B. Nyce (2004), P. A. Woods, ed. (2005), R. Casillo (2006), R. Ebert (2008), T. R. Lindlof (2008), and E. Cashmore (2009).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.