Martin Scorsese is quite simply the most influential filmmaker living today. He might not be as popular as Spielberg, his movies might make less money than Nolan’s, but in terms of influence and sheer technical and artistic brilliance he is in the same category as Hitchcock, Fellini, Wilder, Kurosawa, Truffaut, Welles, Ford, Kubrick etc. To put it simply he is a living legend.
His camera moves, image compositions and editing techniques have been copied time and time again, they are everywhere in movies today. Moreover, he has changed the filmmaking landscape so much that he may well become the victim of his own success.
Namely, his idiosyncratic style has become somewhat ubiquitous lately. Everyone seems to be shamelessly copying him to such an extent that he is forced to reinvent himself in order to be different from the armies of his clones.
Luckily, he is very capable of reinventing himself – he’s been doing that every time he has made a movie. From the gritty, hyper realistic Mean Streets, to the overly stylized Kundun, from Goodfellas to Hugo, he has always tried to reinvent the rules rather than conform to them.
There is absolutely no doubt that, in addition to being a master director, he is one of cinema’s greatest innovators.
Today, we honor this legendary New Yorker with a top 10 list of our favorite movies directed by him. This was a particularly difficult list to make and, even though we had to rank the movies, the ones in top 4 really should share the first place because they are all equally good. So, let’s start!
There is no denying that Scorsese made a lot of great films, but perhaps none of them have been as formally inventive as Hugo. It is the most innovative and original 3D movie made to date. It is Scorsese’s love letter to the early history of cinema.
One of the main characters in the movie is the famous French cinema pioneer George Méliès, who is considered one of the fathers of the art of filmmaking as he had invented most of the techniques that are still in use today.
Before Hugo everyone had been using 3D as a gimmick – they were making movies the same way they would’ve made them if they were 2D. In this one though, 3D adds another dimension, not only visually but emotionally as well. It is not just eye candy, it’s instrumental to the story.
While watching the movie you can feel Scorsese’s joy at being able to recreate this period, and to show us, with great love for the subject, how Méliès made some of his most popular movies. To show us the process of inventing cinema, while reinventing it for the future!
The story of the film follows a little boy called Hugo Cabret as he discovers that the toy salesman at the Gare Montparnasse train station in Paris is actually George Méliès. Interestingly, the part about Méliès being found selling toys inside the famous train station building is historically accurate. He really was found there, years after he had stopped making movies.
If you have children this will be the only movie on the list that you’ll be able to see together with them. Furthermore, Scorsese himself said that he made this movie so that his little daughter can see a film that he made.