Martin Scorsese

Music

Music plays an important role in Martin Scorsese’s life and work. He says that his film MEAN STREETS (1973) was inspired by the music that emanated from the apartments, streets and bars in Little Italy at night. Songs like “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Be My Baby” by the Rolling Stones inspired him to much of his film imagery. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” was the first song played by the Rolling Stones during their concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre. Martin Scorsese documented the event with the camera and SHINE A LIGHT experienced its premiere as the opening film of the Berlin International Film Festival in 2008. Scorsese also documented a concert appearance in THE LAST WALTZ (1978): the legendary final concert of The Band. His documentaries about Bob Dylan and George Harrison not only recount the careers of these musicians, but go further to deliveer subtly differentiated portraits of the times. As early as TAXI DRIVER, Scorsese worked with one of the most famous American film composers. Bernard Herrmann – from whom numerous film soundtracks for Alfred Hitchcock originate – wrote his last film score for TAXI DRIVER, with a jazz theme that changes between melancholy and alarming saxophone tones. Scorsese has had other soundtracks composed by Peter Gabriel for THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (1988) and by Philip Glass for KUNDUN (1997), as well as Howard Shore for GANGS OF NEW YORK (2002), THE AVIATOR (2004), THE DEPARTED (2006) and HUGO (2011). In SHUTTER ISLAND (2010), Scorsese took a risk on an unusual experiment when he exclusively used new music from the 1950s – the period in which the film is set. As a result, the avantgarde sounds of composers like Krzysztof Penderecki and György Ligeti inflect the atmosphere of this psychothriller.

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