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We all go through our own personal cinematic journey growing up. For those of us completely obsessed with cinema, the films we see at a young age shape our tastes and many aspects of our personality, changing our lives in the process. In this column, We look at some of LimeTree’s favourite directors and find out how they found their way into our sphere of influence.

This week we’ve been giving some consideration to the filmography of Martin Scorsese, arguably the greatest American film-maker. Like Kubrick, Scorsese spent much of his career unhonoured by the Academy, but many films from his prolific output are ranked by critics and audiences amongst the best of all time. He finally won the Academy Award for Best Director for the crime drama The Departed (2006) after decades of snubs for superior films. Marty rose to prominence during the 70’s and along with Francis Ford Copalla, Steven Spielberg, William Friedkin, Hal Ashby and Peter Bogdanovich, was at the forefront of ‘The New Hollywood’ that took European aesthetic and popularised the notion of the auteur to western audiences. Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas are all enduring classics. More recently, Hugo, Shutter Island and The Wolf of Wall Street all prove Scorsese’s continued relevance and popularity.

While his films are often profane, provocative and violent, (Scosese’s Catholic background often grounds his movies in themes of crime, guilt and redemption) he is first and foremost a lover and curator of cinema history. He understands it’s language while adding to it simultaneously.

Liam:

Mmm, that’s a tough one. Either mean streets (1973) or taxi driver (1976). Gonna go for taxi driver. It’s an amazing vision of mental health, isolation and obsession in a big city. Travis Reminds me of those trolls on twitter, filled with unfocused hate and believed unfulfilled potential. Except he actually kills people. Lol.

I think cape fear (1991) was my first. I remember watching that when I was way too young.

Mark:

I can’t watch it without thinking about the Simpsons now, although that scene with Deniro and Juliet Lewis on the stage at her school is still really tense.

Liam:

I watched it recently and it still holds up. Probably Deniro’s scariest role except for as the villain in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Richard:

I love that bit in Cape Fear where Sideshow Bob keeps stepping on the rakes!

Joe:

This one’s an easy one. My favourite is Taxi Driver, I feel it’s a perfect movie and made at a time when American was making cinema gold. The unusual editing by Thelma Schoonmaker, the performances, Bernard Herman’s last score plus Marty’s performance as a director makes this my favourite. The first film I saw was Goodfellas, which seemed to be constantly shown on channel 4. It’s probably one of my most watched films and is a modern classic.

Richard:

My first has to be Goodfellas. I honestly can’t remember a time when I hadn’t seen that movie. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I think Goodfellas takes the biscuit. Not only is it one of the most accomplished, and deeply satisfying pieces of cinema, made by Scorsese or anyone else – He did it with Ray Liotta in a starring role!

That said, I’m pretty tempted to say Taxi Driver or The King Of Comedy and, if I had to pick one to watch right now it’d probably be Gangs of New York. #EarsAndNoses

Mark:

I can’t count the amount of times I’ve seen Goodfellas (1990). It’s difficult to remember when I first saw it but I’m reasonably sure it was when it first hit VHS rental likely in ’91. It was the most grown-up film my Dad had let me watch at that point. It’s completely entertaining and doesn’t fall flat at any point, even at almost two and a half hours. It’s a film that, if it’s playing on TV I feel compelled to sit down and watch regardless of where I’ve jumped in. So many quotable lines ‘Do you think I’m funny? Funny how?’, and such a great soundtrack. My favourite scene is the montage of mob hits set to the middle section of ‘Layla’ by Derek and the Dominos. I found it very powerful. Everyone usually points to Joe Pesci’s performance but in many ways it’s Lorraine Bracco’s movie. It’s so easy to see how the mob lifestyle would have been completely alluring. That aside, I love The King of Comedy (1983) with Deniro and Jerry Lewis. It’s hilarious, a bit disturbing and oddly slightly prophetic of the celebrity obsessed culture we’re engulfed in.

Mark Bartlett

You can find Mark’s articles on all things cinema related @deadlyfoe

Tony Zhou’s excellent video highlighting Marty’s eye or in this case ear for detail.