There are few directors still plying their trade today who can rival Martin Scorsese when it comes to the quality and variety of their filmography. The native New Yorker has frequently created brutal and violent stories featuring deeply flawed and morally questionable protagonists, covering such sombre subjects as guilt, greed, machismo and mental instability along the way. However, despite these dark elements which give his work such an incisive edge; his movies are always energetic and vibrant affairs and represent pure escapist cinema at its best.
Not only does he deliver movies filled with unforgettable images, but also equally unforgettable soundtracks. In addition to being a master storyteller, Marty is also a master of the pop soundtrack, with so many of his movies reverberating with his love of pop, Motown and rock and roll.
Just a quick glance over some of Scorsese’s masterpieces and immediately you are hit with a flood of memorable cinematic moments that have themselves become part of film folklore. Travis Bickle’s remonstration with his own reflection in Taxi Driver, Jake La Motta seemingly boxing the camera in Raging Bull or Henry Hill bathed in red light freeze framed as he stares into a car’s trunk in Goodfellas. These sequences are just a few of the countless classic scenes which have cropped up in Scorsese’s work from Mean Streets back in 1973 right through to Hugo in 2011.
In narrowing his impressive back catalogue down to just six choice cuts it really showed just how impressive the director’s CV really is. When there’s no room at the inn for the likes of Mean Streets, Gangs of New York, The Colour of Money, Cape Fear, After Hours, Hugo, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Aviator, it gives you some idea of the difficulties facing any one who sets out to whittle their choice down to just six Scorsese movies.
Nevertheless, after much deliberation and soul searching, I’ve chose six here which represent the director at his explosive and captivating best. So, with no further ado, and in chronological order, here are my choices for Scorsese’s six of the best.