Few American filmmakers have achieved the legacy of Martin Scorsese, director of some of the finest film jobs to come out of American cinema. Even today, Scorsese continues to make the unique brand of vital, provocative film jobs that have defined his style for over forty years.
In 2015, the 72-year-old Scorsese has a diverse variety of film jobs on his plate. According to the director’s IMDB profile, his film jobs in the role of producer include a documentary on iconic jam band the Grateful Dead, a “Rock ‘N’ Roll Project” for HBO, a John Gotti film (The Wannabe), and Tomorrow, following an Afghanistan war vet returning home.
To top off the list of Scoresese’s 2015 film jobs is producing a new boxing film following the story of world champ Vinnie Pazienza. Per Bleed for This’s IMDB profile, Pazienza will be portrayed by Miles Teller, who showed off his considerable acting chops going toe to toe with J.K. Simmons in last year’s Whiplash, one of the best film jobs of the year.
Scorsese, of course, is no stranger to taking on film jobs in the boxing ring. Raging Bull, that fiercely intense 1980 tour de force made when Scorsese was on the brink, stands today as one of his greatest film jobs, and one of the great productions in American film history.
Raging Bull stars Robert De Niro as fighter Jake LaMotta. It may be the greatest performance in a career full of amazing turns, many of the best which came in Scorsese-directed film jobs. Scorsese’s five greatest film jobs, all out-and-out masterpieces ranking among the greatest in movie history, each feature De Niro in major roles.
Martin Scorsese Film Jobs: 2015 and Beyond
While Scorsese doesn’t appear to have any directing jobs slated for this year, he may have a major one on the horizon. The long-awaited Silence, based on a 1956 Japanese novel by Shusaku Endo, is currently in the process of filming.
The film job is currently planned for a 2016 release, and it could be the next slice of Scorsese greatness. The tale of two Jesuit priests, who risk their lives to spread the Biblical word in Japan was previously adapted by Masahiro Shinoda in 1971. However, Scorsese’s project has been in the works for years.
One can see why Scorsese would be drawn to the 17th-century tale. Catholicism has been a thematic concern of the director’s since 1973’s Mean Streets, a raw, unhinged work of art that marked his first collaboration with De Niro.
Silence, starring Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield of Social Network fame, could conceivably go down as one of Scorsese’s most personal film jobs. Then again, he is rarely the kind of guy to do gun-for-hire work. The director has the rare luxury in contemporary American filmmaking to attract funding, stars, and studio support while doing things on his own terms.
Even a seemingly more ostensibly commercial affair, like a Color of Money, Departed, or Shutter Island, carries streaks of Scorsese color that make it something more than a completely brand product. Yet the prospect of another “pure Scorsese” outing in the vein of his greatest film jobs is highly tantalizing.
Martin Scorsese: Rock 'n' Roller
On December 2, 2014, Variety, along with other news outlets, reported that Scorsese is teaming up with scriptwriter Terence Winter and Rolling Stones icon Mick Jagger for an HBO series. The plot, according to the Variety article, will “Explore the drug and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out… through the eyes of a record executive trying to resurrect his label” in the 1970s.
The project is a fitting one for Scorsese, who has been known to prominently feature rock ‘n’ roll in his film jobs. Who could forget Mean Streets’ groundbreaking usage of “Be My Baby” to kick off the opening credits, or “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” to introduce De Niro’s self-destructing maniac Johnny Boy?
From the haunting usage of Jackson Browne’s “Late for the Sky” in Taxi Driver to the epic Derek and the Dominoes track “Layla” in Goodfellas, the man knows how to use his popular music in service of the cinema. Furthermore, Scorsese has directed documentaries on several of the biggest bands in rock history: the Band (The Last Waltz), Dylan (No Direction Home), the Stones (Shine a Light), and the Beatles’ George Harrison (Living in the Material World). As stated above, a new film job Scorsese’s producing will document the history of the Grateful Dead.
The director’s film job connections with many of popular music’s major players should help him lend valuable insight to the HBO series. As HBO appears in need of a new cornerstone Sunday night drama, one can bet there will be much anticipation for this as-yet-untitled project to deliver in a major way.
SCORSESE: FULL CIRCLE, BUT HARDLY FINISHED
Tomorrow, yet another film job Scorsese will be producing in 2015, calls back to the one that began the director’s career. The film job, a British production, stars Stephen Fry. According to a September 22, 2014 Alex Ritman Hollywood Reporter article, the film “will delve into the difficulties faced by soldiers after returning from war.” Furthermore, Tomorrow “will mark the directorial debut of [Scorsese’s] longtime script supervisor, Martha Pinson,” per the Hollywood Reporter article.
In 1967, as an NYU grad student, Scorsese directed a 6-minute film, The Big Shave. Alternately titled Viet ’67, the film depicts a man in close-up, shaving himself until his face is ripped apart and bloodied. The imagery served as viscerally blunt symbolism for the ongoing Vietnam War and its horrific, escalating violence. One can find the seeds of a director who knew how to craft an image that punches a viewer in the gut and resonates in the mind.
This mix of the cerebral and the primal has played a vital role in creating one of the great careers in cinema history. In 2013, Scorsese directed both one of his most energized, and angriest works of recent American cinema with The Wolf of Wall Street. It is a film job that has the visual flair of an upstart filmmaker, but that provokes audiences like few filmmakers could. It stands as another rich chapter in the story of Martin Scorsese, one that will only continue to grow in 2015 and beyond.