Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese Director

Martin Scorsese was born in 1942 in New York City, and grew up in the tough downtown neighborhood of Little Italy, which later provided the inspiration for several of his films. He suffered from severe asthma as a child and could not play outside or participate in sports, so his parents often took him to the movies. He was fascinated by the images on the screen and drew his own movies at home. That fascination and ambition never left him, and eventually led him to be among the first American generation of film school students, who were inspired by both cinema's Golden Age and the international independent cinema, as well as the counterculture movement happening around them in the 1960s.

Throughout his illustrious feature film career, Scorsese has also been an impassioned and distinguished documentary filmmaker. He began as an editor on the landmark concert film Woodstock (1970, dir. Michael Wadleigh). The documentary he made about his parents, Italianamerican (1974), remains among Scorsese's favorites of his own films. The Last Waltz (1978) captured the extraordinary last concert by The Band, with performances by such rock and roll legends as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Emmylou Harris, The Staples, and Neil Young. The film has been hailed as "the most beautiful rock film ever made." In 1995, he completed a four-hour documentary, A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (co-directed by Michael Henry Wilson), commissioned by the British Film Institute to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of cinema. A uniquely personal look at American cinema, A Personal Journey firmly establishes Scorsese as a remarkable film historian. Further displaying his obsessive love and knowledge of cinema, Il Mio Viaggio in Italia ("My Voyage to Italy") is a history of Italian cinema seen through Scorsese's eyes. It was released in 2001 and won the William K. Everson History of Film Award from the National Board of Review. His latest documentary endeavor is The Blues, a labor of love that he has worked on over the course of many years. Scorsese is executive producing the seven-film documentary series as well as the "Salute to the Blues" concert film, and is directing the first episode, titled Feel Like Going Home.

Scorsese's movies have earned many awards over the years, and in addition Scorsese himself has received numerous honors and distinctions. In 1991, the French government made him a Commandeur des Arts et Lettres. That same year, he was honored by the American Cinemateque for career achievement. He received the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) Britannia Award in 1993. In 1995, he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for career achievement. He received the prestigious American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1997. In 1998, he received the Lifetime Career Award from Lincoln Center's Film IMDB