He doesn't have a definitive "style". Mostly, his work seems stuck in an aesthetic no man's land, lost between Golden era Hollywood acumen and post-modern revisionist rebellion. He strives for art and almost always succeeds. Yet his mainstream profile is often pitted with complaints of high brow brazenness and an addiction to cursing, crime, and violence. Both may be true, but not completely illustrative of this amazing American auteur. Instead, he reinvents himself with every film, following his own unique ideals while constantly staying cemented in the language of the artform.
Now, with his latest film Shutter Island set to be released after a seemingly unnecessary six month delay, SE&L looks back on ten terrific films by Martin Scorsese, arguing that in almost every one of his many movies, there's a pivotal point of clear cinematic polish (sometimes, more than one - many more). While not nearly all encompassing, it highlights how, often, one singular scene can redefine what appears to be a standard genre offering. In Scorsese's case, it happens so regularly that it’s almost ridiculous to point them out. We begin with one of his most underrated masterworks:
Rupert "Rehearses" His Talk Show
[The King of Comedy (1982)]
Christ "Succumbs" to the Last Temptation
[The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)]
Tommy Hyatt Tries to Tell a Joke
[Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)
Travis Takes Down Sport
[Taxi Driver (1976)]
Lionel Dobie Paints a Masterpiece
[New York Stories: "Life Lessons" (1989)]
Dylan Goes "Electric"
[No Direction Home (2005)]
The Elevator Double-Cross
[The Departed (2006)]
Nicky Santoro Gets "Interrupted"
Jimmy Wants Karen to "Pick Out Some Dresses"
Jake Has a Question
[Raging Bull (1980)]