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Martin Scorsese

(b. 1942) American film director


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(1942– )

US film director, who emerged as a leading figure in the cinema in the 1970s.

Born on Long Island, New York, Scorsese studied film at New York University, where he became an instructor in 1963; he made his debut as a director in 1968 with Who's That Knocking at My Door?. However, his reputation dates from 1973, when he made Mean Streets, a violent and realistic study of New York's Italian community that marked the beginning of Scorsese's long collaboration with the actor Robert De Niro; it also established his interest in the themes of brutality and conflict that characterize many of his subsequent films. In Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) he tackled the subjects of bereavement and self-discovery, while in Taxi Driver (1976) he depicted the violent life of a psychopathic New York cab driver, played by De Niro. He continued to win public and critical acclaim working with De Niro in New York, New York (1977), Raging Bull (1980), and The King of Comedy (1983) as well as with Paul Newman in the Oscar-winning The Color of Money (1980). Scorsese's career has not been without controversy however; The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) caused an international uproar, being considered blasphemous by many Christian pressure groups. His more recent films include the gangster epics GoodFellas (1990) and Casino (1995), in which he resumed his partnership with De Niro, as well as the very different The Age of Innocence (1992), a costume drama, and Kundun (1998) about the life of the fourteenth Dalai Lama. Scorsese has also made occasional appearances as an actor, notably in Kurosawa's Dreams (1989).

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).


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