Known for gritty tales that often draw on his Italian-American Heritage, Mr Martin Scorsese is one of the most celebrated directors working today, as equally adept at drawing voluminous praise from critics as he is at generating those all-important box-office numbers. His landmark films Taxi Driver and Goodfellas (both starring Mr Robert De Niro in career-defining roles) are among the masterpieces of modern film, a fact that is being duly recognised this month by the rerelease of both at cinemas nationwide.
However, Scorsese’s canon of work goes far beyond the “mean streets” scenarios with which he is most commonly associated, covering everything from psychological horror to quirky comedy and sharp biopics, the common thread through all being his intense focus on character development and gripping storytelling abilities.
For anyone not completely au fait with Mr Scorsese’s oeuvre up until now: good news. January (let’s just call it “Scorsese month”) starts with the release of his latest, Silence, based on the 1966 novel by Japanese author Mr Shusako Endo. Then, in the following eight weeks, the BFI are celebrating the filmmaker’s 40-year career through a comprehensive series of film screenings covering almost every Scorsese era, as well as a selection of films curated by the man himself, all of which he considers formative to his work. All, are, of course, recommended viewing (and if you haven’t seen Goodfellas and Taxi Driver… well… sort it out). But if you’re in a hurry and want to just see five, scroll down for our top picks: