Martin Charles Scorsese (born November 17, 1942) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. One of the major figures of the New Hollywood era, he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and influential directors in film history. Scorsese's body of work explores themes such as Italian-American identity, Catholic concepts of guilt and redemption, faith, machismo, crime, and tribalism. Many of his films are known for their depiction of violence, and the liberal use of profanity and rock music. In 1990, he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation, and in 2017, he introduced the African Film Heritage Project.
Scorsese studied at New York University where he received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 1964 and received a Masters in Fine Arts in film from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1966. In 1967 Scorsese's first feature film Who's That Knocking at My Door was released and was accepted into the Chicago Film Festival, where critic Roger Ebert saw it and called it "a marvelous evocation of American city life, announcing the arrival of an important new director". Scorsese's mentors included John Cassavetes, whose chatty, the improvisational style did much to influence Scorsese’s scripts and production work, and who told him to "make films about what you know". In 1971 Scorsese moved to Hollywood, where he associated with some of the young directors who defined the decade, including Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, and George Lucas. He directed Boxcar Bertha (1972), a cut-rate Depression-era film for Roger Corman, and Mean Streets (1973), a personal film about faith and redemption shot in Little Italy, starring Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro.
He has established a filmmaking history involving repeat collaborations with actors and film technicians, including nine films made with Robert De Niro. His films with De Niro are the vigilante-thriller Taxi Driver (1976), the biographical sports drama Raging Bull (1980), the black comedy The King of Comedy (1982), the musical drama New York, New York (1977), the psychological thriller Cape Fear (1991), and the crime films Mean Streets (1973), Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995) and The Irishman (2019). Scorsese has also been noted for his successful collaborations with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, having directed him in five films: the historical epic Gangs of New York (2002), the Howard Hughes biography The Aviator (2004), the crime thriller The Departed (2006), the psychological thriller Shutter Island (2010), and the Wall Street black comedy The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). The Departed won Scorsese the Academy Award for Best Director, in addition to winning the award for Best Picture. Scorsese is also known for his long-time collaboration with film editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who has edited every Scorsese film beginning with Raging Bull. Scorsese's other film work includes the black comedy After Hours (1985), the romantic drama The Age of Innocence (1993), the historical adventure drama Hugo (2011), and the religious epics The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Kundun (1997) and Silence (2016).
With nine nominations for the Academy Award for Best Director, Scorsese is the most-nominated living director and is second only to William Wyler's twelve nominations overall. In 2007, Scorsese was presented with the Kennedy Center Honor at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for his influence in American culture. He also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003, a British Film Institute Fellowship in 1995, and a BAFTA Fellowship in 2012. Scorsese is also a recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award for his contributions to the cinema, and has won an Academy Award, a Palme d'Or, a Cannes Film Festival Award, a Silver Lion, a Grammy Award, three Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, three BAFTA Awards, and two Directors Guild of America Awards. Scorsese is also known for his work in television, including directing the pilot episodes of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire and Vinyl, the latter he also co-created. As a fan of rock music, he has directed several documentaries on the subject after editing Woodstock (1970), including The Last Waltz (1978), No Direction Home (2005), Shine a Light (2008), George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011), and Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019).