Back to One: How Scorsese Opens Every One of His Films

By  · Published on October 19th, 2016

Martin Scorsese is a master of mood. Within minutes of entering one of his films you have a feel for what to expect, if it’s going to be a brooding character study like TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL, or BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, if it’s going to be a sweeping epic like THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, KUNDUN, or THE AVIATOR, or if it’s going to be an up-close-and-personal exploration of a gritty undercurrent of American culture as in GOODFELLAS, CASINO, or GANGS OF NEW YORK. And the most talent-telling facet of Scorsese’s ability to instill this emotional resonance pretty much off the bat is that most times he does it with little to no dialogue, relying on composition, framing, lighting, and character to do the heavy lifting.

In this brief but beautiful video from OPS-favorite Candice Drouet for her Really Dim channel, the openings to every single film by Martin Scorsese have been edited together into a montage that reveals both the versatility and familiarity with which Scorsese starts his stories. The musical accompaniment, by Christian Cabrera, plays over any sound from the films, allowing you to focus on how Scorsese uses imagery to birth his narratives, including a handful of instances – BOXCAR BERTHA, TAXI DRIVER, and CAPE FEAR among them – where the first thing we see is a character looking back at us.

Scorsese: Opening / Candice drouet from Really Dim on Vimeo.

Related: The Opening Scenes of Steven Spielberg

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