All posts tagged: Martin Scorsese

Representations of Urban Space & Masculinity in “Taxi Driver”

Representations of Urban Space & Masculinity in “Taxi Driver” & the Rise of the American Right-Wing Though Martin Scorsese’s 1976 psychological thriller, Taxi Driver, was released over 40 years ago, one could argue that many layers to the film’s harsh societal critiques are just as relevant in today’s sociopolitical climate. By exploring 1970s New York City through the perspective of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), an intense man whose past we know little about other than that he served in the Vietnam War, Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader allow the audience to see the world through a particularly conservative lens. In the film, Bickle’s taxi cab works as a device that carries him through spaces he may not otherwise occupy. In this vehicle he’s shielded from that which fuels his fear and contempt. He sees, though might not necessarily be seen. He’s a vigilante on the edge of sanity, a sort of messiah figure who strives to clean up the city, though his racist and sexist rational for this metaphoric “clean up” is never stated …

My 5 Favorite De Niro Performances

If you asked me who my favorite actor is I’d proudly proclaim ROBERT DE NIRO, along with thousands upon thousands of other fans across the world. In each role he fills, De Niro engages, scares, surprises, and connects. He is a bonafide legend, and the depth, tone, subtlety, and intensity he is able to create within each of his characters is nothing short of awe-inspiring. In honor of his 72nd birthday, here are my five favorite Robert De Niro performances, in no particular order. What are yours? Jake La Motta – Raging Bull (1980) Raging Bull is one of my favorite films for numerous reasons, including Robert De Niro’s mesmerizing performance (for which he won the Academy Award), the stunning cinematography, and the truly moving soundtrack. In Raging Bull we see the destruction of a man’s world, as his anger and jealousy corrodes the relationships in his life. It’s one of those films and performances that one can never do justice to when discussing – it simply must be watched and enjoyed. Michael – The Deer Hunter (1978) The Deer Hunter provides an examination of the Vietnam war and its impact on American …

Scorsese + DiCaprio

This summer I posted behind the scenes photos of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro working together on their many collaborations – from Mean Streets to Casino. With two birthdays in November, I thought it would be a great time to post photos with Scorsese’s other common collaborator, Leonardo DiCaprio. Enjoy! Gangs of New York – 2002 The Aviator – 2004 The Departed – 2006 Shutter Island – 2010 The Wolf of Wall Street – 2013

Martin Scorsese on Culture, Cinema, and Celluloid

“Can a film really change anything? I mean, what was the last time? Maybe the Italian neo-realists, where they became the voice and the heart and the soul of Italy, a nation that had been destroyed. I don’t know.” “A lot of what I’m obsessed with is the relationship and the dynamics between people and their family, particularly brothers and their fathers.” “Howard Hughes was this visionary who was obsessed with speed and flying like a god. I loved his idea of what filmmaking was.” “There was always a part of me that wanted to be an old-time director. But I couldn’t do that. I’m not a pro.” “The cinema began with a passionate, physical relationship between celluloid and the artists and craftsmen and technicians who handled it, manipulated it, and came to know it the way a lover comes to know every inch of the body of the beloved. No matter where the cinema goes, we cannot afford to lose sight of the beginnings.” “I love studying Ancient History and seeing how empires rise …

Roger Ebert & ‘Life Itself’

I don’t want to review a film when I know I won’t do it justice. I particularly don’t want to review a film when I know I won’t do it justice and it’s about the most well known film critic in American history. So just heed my advice and go see Life Itself. Somehow, being the emotional individual that I am, I found myself teary eyed within the first 30 seconds. It’s truly a wonderful viewing experience. Go. If Life Itself isn’t playing at a theater near you, it’s now available on iTunes.

Scorsese + De Niro

The other day I was browsing through Tumblr and came across a neat photo of my favorite director/actor duo, Martin Scorsese & Robert De Niro. Considering that they’ve been making movies together since the early 70’s, I thought that there were probably a ton of photos of the two of them on sets throughout the years. I did some research and here’s what I found: mean streets – 1973 taxi driver – 1976 raging bull – 1980 goodfellas – 1990 casino – 1995 **I wasn’t able to find photos of Scorsese and De Niro together from New York, New York, The King of Comedy, or Cape Fear**

Martin Scorsese’s Open Letter To His Daughter

In an open letter to his daughter, and in many ways all aspiring filmmakers, Martin Scorsese expressed why he believes that the future of filmmaking is bright. The letter was originally published by Italian magazine L’Espresso. “Dearest Francesca, I’m writing this letter to you about the future. I’m looking at it through the lens of my world. Through the lens of cinema, which has been at the center of that world. For the last few years, I’ve realized that the idea of cinema that I grew up with, that’s there in the movies I’ve been showing you since you were a child, and that was thriving when I started making pictures, is coming to a close. I’m not referring to the films that have already been made. I’m referring to the ones that are to come. I don’t mean to be despairing. I’m not writing these words in a spirit of defeat. On the contrary, I think the future is bright. We always knew that the movies were a business, and that the art of cinema …

Film School or No School?

What do Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, Terry Gilliam, and David Fincher have in common? Aside from their magnificently acclaimed careers, all four directors opted out of school and decided instead to jump head first into the film industry. On the other-hand, greats like Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and Darren Aronofsky attended film school before developing their careers. So, what’s the better option? Film school, or no school? A lot of young aspiring filmmakers ask: “Is film school worth it?” Simply put, the answer depends on the type of person you are and what you’re interested in taking away from the experience of receiving an arts degree. First, you must know that film school is not for everyone, and it’s certainly not necessary to begin a career in the film industry. But even if the program you’re pursuing isn’t prominent, you’ll still get something out of it. What’s important is if what you get out of your experience is worth it to you. In my case, I believe it was. Sure, you can learn how to be a filmmaker …