The Success of Martin Scorsese

timer Asked: Dec 17th, 2017
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Question description

Paper title: Martin Scorsese

Must include background of his life, most notable films, and how he rose to where he is now.

Structure the paper in a way that is organized, logically flowing, and makes sense. Make sure to complete a good outline before you start writing and include the outline.

i.e. maybe have a section called "famous films" discussing 4 of Scorsese's most culturally influential films, their budget, their box office success, and elements of the film that were groundbreaking or innovative at the time. Talk about why he won certain awards.

These are just example topics, the entire paper needs to be a thorough review of Scorsese's life and work that aims to answer an overarching research question such as "Why are Scorsese films so internationally renown?" and the like

20 pages requires a lot of preplanning and thought. The paper is being written from the perspective of someone who was supposed to be doing research on Martin Scorsese for a semester and is a capstone requirement for their major (context).

Paper length: 20 pages

Due 12/19/17

Tutor Answer

School: Boston College


The Success of Martin Scorsese- Outline
Thesis Statement: Scorsese’s resilience in capturing the contemporary social issues and
revolutionizing films to capture the neo-noir era in more detail has allowed him to enjoy much
success. His network in the field and ongoing partnerships has allowed him to enhance
storytelling by casting some of the best talents in the industry such as Robert De Niro, Matt
Damon, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
I. Introduction
II. Early life and background
III. Education and the rise to fame
IV. Most notable films
A. Raging Bull (1980)
B. The Departed (2006)
C. The Taxi Driver (1976)
D. Goodfellas (1990)
V. Major achievements and awards
A. Academy Awards
B. Golden Globes
C. Other film awards
D. Honors
VI. Main themes in Scorsese’s works
A. The surrogate father
B. The good life
C. Religion, transcendence, and vision

D. Crime and morality

Significance to the industry




The Success of Martin Scorsese




The Success of Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese is one of the most accomplished film directors of the 20th century
coming into the 21st Century as well. As a filmmaker, Scorsese has seen the rise of a successful
career for over 50 years in the film industry. Scorsese is one of the most respected filmmakers of
his time and thus passes as one of the greatest in the art. He is acknowledged as making up the
force that has led to the development and success of films in in the 1970s and 80s as well.
Therefore, looking at Martin Scorsese is synonymous with looking at the development and
success of film production in the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century.
Scorsese’s resilience in capturing the contemporary social issues and revolutionizing films to
capture the neo-noir era in more detail has allowed him to enjoy much success. His network in
the field and ongoing partnerships has allowed him to enhance storytelling by casting some of
the best talents in the industry such as Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
From a young age, Scorsese made his mark in the production of film and had since grown
to become the best in the field. According to Vanvalin (2017), Scorsese’s career success is based
on the fact that he started when he was only eight years old, and this emphasis and determination
skyrocketed him to success later on. His first film was completed in 1968, and it was titled
Who’s That Knocking at my Door? but his film success came ten years later when he directed
Taxi Driver which was his landmark production. His ability to tell stories that are captivating and
attractive to the audience is a special talent that has distinguished him in the industry as he
provides what the industry needs from filmmakers. Having identified his niche in the industry,
Scorsese is now a force to reckon with and a figure that has mentored many upcoming talents
and upon who many more look up to for direction and inspiration.
Early Life and Background



Martin Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942, in Flushing, New York. Understanding
Scorsese’s early life and bringing up will allow a critical look at the emergence and rise of the
actor. Therefore, looking at the early years of the actor will help in understanding the foundation
of his acting and directing roles in the film industry. First, his birthday presents the knowledge
that he is an old person who started his career in the mid-20th Century and has seen success later
on in his life. His parents were Italian Americans, and he was raised in Little Italy in the district
of Manhattan, New York. Regarding his upbringing, his parents adopted the life of Italy in the
locality whereby most of the neighbors were of Italian descent hence the name Little Italy.
Scorsese recalls his upbringing as being “like a village in Sicily” (BAFTA Guru, 2017).
Therefore, it would be safe to say that he was brought up in the cultural considerations of an
Italian family.
The family members of Scorsese’ were all humble folk who mainly identified as the
lower middle class in the society. His mother and father both worked in the garment industry
with the latter being a clothes presser and the former a seamstress. Charles and Catherine
Scorsese also adopted acting as one of their past time and thus it explains one of the earliest
influences that Scorsese had in his early ambitions for directing and acting in the film industry.
As part-time actors, they created the perfect background for Scorsese to start his career and
availed the relevant resources for him at an early age when he was as young as eight years old
(Elie, 2016). Most notable was Catherine; Martins mother appeared in the film that he cast It’s
Not Just You, Murray! The association of Martin and his mother was then seen in his film
Goodfellas. She also appeared in several other films where she mostly played the role of an
Italian mother.



From this early life, it is evident that Scorsese had the correct background for him to
prosper in film production and to act as well. Therefore, his background growing up shows some
of the earliest influences as his parents. Another aspect of his childhood that can be said to have
significantly influenced his film production is the life he lived as a young person of Italian
descent. The difference in culture between the American and Italian way of life affected his
choice of film as he is recognized for his films that depicted the harsh lives of Americans and the
selfishness that existed in the community (Leitch, 2002). His growing up in the neighborhood of
Little Italy also influenced his films as many of them were about the life of this neighborhood as
related to the overall American life at this time of experience.
As a child, Scorsese spent most of his time watching television and films. This was partly
because he had asthma and could not engage in physical activities that other healthier children
participated in. As such, the long exposure to films can be said as another contributor to his love
for film hence the early onset of his career. He states his inspiration in films as the presentation
of the Italian life that he strongly identified with. Also, he claims that Michael Powell was one of
the earliest role models that he encountered through his zeal for the film (Conard, 2007). This
approach to film production and direction is further seen as progressive since, at the age of only
eight years, he had already understood the concept of writing storyboards which is the basis for
producing and directing any film. Therefore, his ambition and skill can be viewed as starting
from a young age and being a combination of the parental influence and the obsession with film
as a child.
The upbringing of Scorsese was in a devout Catholic background and tried to study
Catholic priesthood with no success. Therefore, his decision to study film in New York was the
second try in careers after his initial attempt at priesthood failed. This obsession with film and



the success after that can be seen as the transformation of one’s hobby into a career as opposed to
the ‘more serious’ career of being a priest. Looking at the childhood and growing up of Scorsese,
therefore, provides a fascinating look at the role that passion and childhood ambitions played in
his later success in the industry. The biggest lesson learned from the background is that the
filmmaker knew well not to relent on his childhood fantasies as they, later on, led him to
unanticipated success in film. This lesson is applicable in every career as it allows one to focus
on the very obsessions that they have when growing up and working the hardest to achieve
Education and the Rise to Fame
Upon understanding the childhood of this icon, it is then critical to scrutinize how he
came into the industry, his education and early practice in filmmaking. The education of Martin
Scorsese is somewhat a turnaround and the true depiction of following one’s heart when it comes
to arts and studying. It has already been established that Scorsese wanted to become a priest at
first. Mostly, this can be attributed to his upbringing in a devout Catholic faith environment. His
films also show some aspect of American’s and religious faith showing that the man has always
been critical of matters religion and his faith as well (Raymond, 2002). Therefore, his choice to
try out priesthood also communicates a lot about his faith and ambitions.
Scorsese’s faith and his immersion into religion are perhaps seen in his films such as The
Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and most recently his 2016 film Silence. The genre of films
shows that Scorsese was always intrigued by Chri...

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