47: Martin Scorsese
As one of the cinema's greatest tellers of sacred stories about the soul's struggle turns eighty, we celebrate.
Gareth Higgins on Martin Scorsese at eighty, and reflections on Silence
Martin Scorsese marked his eightieth birthday last week, and he’s been working his way into my consciousness since before I ever saw one of his movies (which would have been Taxi Driver, around 1991 when I was sixteen).
He always pushes me to take life seriously, to recognize the spaces between people, look each other in the eye, try to discern the difference between religiosity and spirituality, community and cults, maturity and male aggression.
Thinking of him, what comes to mind instead of favorites: moments, bits and pieces:
The look on Liam Neeson's face at the start of Silence, the agonized restraint of Daniel & Michelle in The Age of Innocence (and the lighthouse image), De Niro marching almost into the camera in Cape Fear, the almost perfect and then mistaken (to my mind) time-lapse ending of Gangs of New York, one of the crane shots in The Last Waltz, the bleak quiet in After Hours, Martin Sheen in The Departed, visiting Jerry uninvited in The King of Comedy, the opening sequence of Bringing Out the Dead (with maybe the best use of pop music by the best user of pop music in cinema), the cracked open door in The Irishman*, Paul Newman's hilarious punch-the-air last words in The Color of Money, the flying papers in Georges Méliès' house in Hugo, the final few minutes of Kundun (beginning with the Dalai Lama's guard saying what for me, in this context, are the three most moving words in the movies: We have time), the honoring of a nation's torment in Shutter Island, the temptations themselves in The Last Temptation of Christ.