11 Major Influences On Martin Scorsese

The films of Powell and Pressburger significantly influenced a young Scorsese, especially the 1948 ballet drama “The Red Shoes.” “It’s a film that had a very strong impact on me,” Scorsese told the Guardian, “the nature of the storytelling, the images, the editing, the camera movements, the use of music, the faces … it was a very dark story.”

Another favorite was “The Tales of Hoffmann,” Powell and Pressburger’s Technicolor opera from 1951. “I became kinda obsessed and entranced by the picture,” Scorsese explained to Studiocanal, “the music and the choreography of both the dancers and the camera told the story … and this is something that stayed with me in my own work over the years.” Scorsese’s famous use of music and image can be traced, at least in part, to this British opera film.

Scorsese was not the only boy in the neighborhood to enjoy “The Tales of Hoffmann.” Before he started renting the 16mm print on a regular, almost religious basis, another up-and-coming filmmaker often signed out the film. “In those days you had to go and rent a projector and a 16mm print … It was always available, nobody else ever took it out,” George A. Romero told a KVIFF audience. ” … Then all of a sudden somebody else started to book it. It turned out to be [Martin] Scorsese. We were the same age. He lived in Brooklyn and I lived in the Bronx and we were the only two guys that were taking out this movie.”

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