Summer Classics Series: Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro x 2

Raging Bull

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 7:30pm
USA 1980. Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto
Post-screening discussion with Michael van den Bos

“A fusion of Hollywood genre with personal vision couched in images and sounds that are kinetic and visceral, and closer to poetry than pulp.”
Read more…

Taxi Driver

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 7:30pm
USA 1976. Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks
Post-screening discussion with Mark Harris

Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and nominated for four Academy Awards, Scorsese’s 1976 classic follows damaged anti-hero Travis Bickle. Read more…


“I look for a thematic idea running through my movies, and I see that it is the outsider struggling for recognition.” 

“I’ve come to know De Niro fairly well down the years. He’s a very compassionate man. He’s basically a very good man and you can see that in him. So he can take on characters that are pretty disturbing and make them human because of that compassion. It’s taken me years to figure it out. He has an ability to make audiences feel empathy for very difficult characters because there is something very decent in him.”

Widely acknowledged as the greatest American filmmaker of his generation, Martin Scorsese was born in New York City in 1942 and educated at the NYU Film School, where he received his MFA in 1966. His first feature-length film, 1967’s Who’s That Knocking at My Door (made with actor Harvey Keitel and editor Thelma Schoonmaker, both fellow students who would become long-term collaborators) marked the beginning of an auspicious career that encompasses, to date, 21 feature films and 10 documentaries, many of which are now considered classics.

Early in the 1970s, friend and fellow director Brian De Palma introduced Scorsese to a young actor named Robert De Niro, whom Scorsese would cast in his 1973 film Mean Streets. This marked the beginning of a long and fruitful creative relationship, resulting in some of the director’s best work.

Three years after Mean Streets, De Niro was given the lead role in Taxi Driver. The pair would teamed for New York, New York (1977), Raging Bull (1980), The King of Comedy (1983), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), and Casino (1995).

Of the eight films Scorsese has made with De Niro, three appear on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 best American movies of all time: Raging Bull (#24), Taxi Driver (#47) and Goodfellas (#94).

Recently, Scorsese has spoken publicly of reuniting with De Niro. At the Berlin Film Festival premiere of his latest film, Shutter Island (2010), the director spoke of an as-yet-untitled mobster drama he would like to make with the actor: “Bob De Niro (and I) are talking about something that has to do with that world. We’re working on something like that, but it’s from the vantage point of older men looking back, none of this running around stuff.” Here’s hoping . . .