Martin Scorsese’s Body of Work Extends Far Beyond Male-Centric Mafia Movies

Variety | 1/28/2020 | Tim Gray
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Actors sometimes complain about being typecast, but it’s a fact of life for anyone in entertainment. John Ford is usually labeled a director of Westerns, despite “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Mister Roberts.” David Lean is known for his epics, but he also directed “Brief Encounter” and “Summertime.” Vincente Minnelli? The director of musicals, overlooking “The Bad and the Beautiful,” “Lust for Life” and “Some Came Running.”

Martin Scorsese in the past year has often been described as the director of gangster films, even though that genre represents only five of his 25 narrative films, or roughly 15% of his work, if you add in documentaries.

Scorsese - Films - Breakthrough - Mean - Streets

Scorsese is also typecast as one who makes male-oriented films. This ignores that his breakthrough “Mean Streets,” was bookended by two women-driven films: “Boxcar Bertha” (1972) and “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1974). The latter film won Ellen Burstyn the Oscar; Scorsese has also directed nine other women to Oscar noms: Cate Blanchett, who won for the 2004 “The Aviator,” Diane Ladd, Jodie Foster, Cathy Moriarty, Mary-Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Lorraine Bracco, Juliette Lewis, Winona Ryder and Sharon Stone.

Plus he got vivid performances from Cybill Shepherd in “Taxi Driver,” Liza Minnelli in “New York, New York,” Catherine O’Hara and Rosanna Arquette in “After Hours,” Vera Farmiga in “The Departed,” Chloe Grace Moretz in “Hugo,” and Margot Robbie in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” to name a few.

Santa - Barbara - Intl - Film - Festival

At the Santa Barbara Intl. Film Festival’s tribute to Scorsese, Al Pacino told me, “It’s hard for an actor to know if the role is right for them. You’re always trying to find the character. With Marty, there’s a freedom. He is like a safety net that allows actors to feel free to experiment and try things.” That’s true of all the actors in his films.

This year, Scorsese has been typecast in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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