Martin Charles Scorsese (/skɔrˈsɛsi/;[note 1] born November 17, 1942) is an American director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and film historian, whose career spans more than 45 years.
Part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmaking, he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and influential filmmakers in cinema history. In 1990, he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation. He is a recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award for his contributions to the cinema, and has won an Academy Award, a Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival Best Director Award, Silver Lion, Grammy Award, Emmys, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and DGA Awards.
Scorsese’s body of work addresses such themes as Sicilian-American identity, Roman Catholic concepts of guilt and redemption,machismo, modern crime, and gang conflict. Many of his films are also notable for their depiction of violence and liberal use ofprofanity. He has directed landmark films such as the crime film Mean Streets (1973), the vigilante-drama Taxi Driver (1976), the biographical sports drama Raging Bull (1980), the black comedy The King of Comedy (1983), and the crime films Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995), all of which he collaborated on with actor and close friend Robert De Niro. Scorsese has also been noted for his collaborations with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, having directed him in five films, beginning with Gangs of New York (2002). Their latest collaboration, The Wolf of Wall Street, was released in 2013.
He won the Academy Award for Best Director for the crime drama The Departed (2006). With eight Best Director nominations to date, he is the most nominated living director, and is tied with Billy Wilder for the second most nominations overall.
Scorsese was born in Queens, New York. His family moved to the Little Italy section of Manhattan before he started school. His father, Charles Scorsese (1913–93), and mother, Catherine Scorsese (born Cappa; 1912–97), both worked in New York’s Garment District. His father was a clothes presser and an actor, and his mother was a seamstress and an actress. His father’s parents emigrated fromPolizzi Generosa, in the province of Palermo, Sicily, and his maternal grandparents were also from Palermo, precisely from Ciminna. Scorsese was raised in a devoutly Catholic environment. As a boy he had asthma and could not play sports or do any activities with other children and so his parents and his older brother would often take him to movie theaters; it was at this stage in his life that he developed a passion for cinema. As a teenager in the Bronx, Scorsese frequently rented Powell and Pressburger’s The Tales of Hoffmann(1951) from a store that had one copy of the reel. Scorsese was one of only two people who regularly rented that reel. The other was future Night Of The Living Dead director George A. Romero.
Scorsese has cited Sabu and Victor Mature as his favorite actors during his youth and has spoken of the influence of the 1947 Powell and Pressburger film Black Narcissus, whose innovative techniques later impacted his filmmaking. Enamored of historical epics in his adolescence, at least two films of the genre, Land of the Pharaohs and El Cid, appear to have had a deep and lasting impact on his cinematic psyche. Scorsese also developed an admiration for neorealist cinema at this time. He recounted its influence in a documentary on Italian neorealism, and commented on how Bicycle Thieves alongside Paisà, Rome, Open City inspired him and how this influenced his view or portrayal of his Sicilian roots. In his documentary, Il Mio Viaggio in Italia, Scorsese noted that the Sicilian episode of Roberto Rossellini‘s Paisà, which he first saw on television alongside his relatives, who were themselves Sicilian immigrants, made a significant impact on his life. He acknowledges owing a great debt to the French New Wave and has stated that “the French New Wave has influenced all filmmakers who have worked since, whether they saw the films or not.” He has also cited filmmakers including Satyajit Ray, Ingmar Bergman, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Federico Fellini as a major influence on his career. His initial desire to become a priest while attending Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx gave way to cinema and consequently, Scorsese enrolled in NYU’s University College of Arts and Science, (now known as the College of Arts and Science), where he earned a B.A. in English in 1964. He went on to earn his M.F.A. from NYU’s School of the Arts (now known as the Tisch School of the Arts) in 1966, a year after the school was founded.