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Must-Watch Masterpieces Recommended by Martin Scorsese for Aspiring Filmmakers

Must-Watch Masterpieces Recommended by Martin Scorsese for Aspiring Filmmakers

Berfin Ceren Meray
November 24 2023 - 12:11am

Renowned director Martin Scorsese has shared a list of essential films that he believes every aspiring filmmaker should watch. These cinematic gems serve as invaluable resources for students seeking to enhance their skills and understanding in the world of cinema. Dive into this curated collection for an enriching cinematic experience! 馃憞

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The Rules of the Game, 1939

The Rules of the Game, 1939

IMDb: 7.9

Summary: Set just before the outbreak of World War II, a count organizes a weekend hunting party. However, the hunting party turns into a game of cat and mouse between the aristocrats and the servants, depicting a ruthless and despairing tableau of immorality and cruelty. In this tragicomedy that turns into drama without a tear in the viewer's eye, the killing of rabbits in the countryside reflects the foolish violence of a deceitful society, hinting at the impending conflicts of spring 1940. The film suggests that the end of the world, or at least the end of a world, is near.

Cast: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost

Director: Jean Renoir

Big Deal on Madonna Street, 1958

Big Deal on Madonna Street, 1958

IMDb: 7.9

聽Summary: Regarded as one of the masterpieces of Italian cinema, this film is a brilliant parody of film noir, Italian neorealism, farce, and heist movies. A group of small-time crooks gathers for a job they swear will be their last and best. However, everything goes awry. Despite being thieves, they are extremely kind, likable, and excessively unlucky. With rapid-fire dialogues and starring iconic actors like Vittorio Gassman and Marcello Mastroianni, Mario Monicelli's classic comedy is full of surprises.

聽Cast: Vittorio Gassman, Marcello Mastroianni, Renato Salvatori

聽Director: Mario Monicelli

Open City, 1945

Open City, 1945

IMDb: 8.0

Summary: Set in Rome under Nazi occupation towards the end of World War II in 1944, the film tells the story of a group of people living in the city. Giorgio Manfredi, the leader of the resistance movement against the Gestapo, is being pursued. His close friends, Francesco, Pina (Francesco's soon-to-be-married widow), and Father Don Pietro Pellegrini, help Giorgio obtain a new identity to leave Rome as quickly as possible.

Cast: Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero

Director: Roberto Rossellini

Tokyo Story, 1953

Tokyo Story, 1953

IMDb: 8.1

聽Summary: Set in a Japan undergoing tremendous transformation and modernization, the film follows a retired couple from the countryside visiting their married children in Tokyo. As the young ones become increasingly absorbed in the busyness of city life, they prefer passing the responsibility of taking care of their parents to each other, seeking relief from the burden. Only the widowed daughter-in-law of their deceased son shows them kindness and attention. Upon returning home, the elderly couple is left hurt and confused, and a dramatic event is needed for the children to realize their neglect.

聽Cast: Chish没 Ry没, Chieko Higashiyama, S么 Yamamura

聽Director: Yasujir么 Ozu

Grand Illusion, 1937

Grand Illusion, 1937

IMDb: 8.1

Summary: In World War I, Commander De Boeldieu from the aristocratic class and Lieutenant Marechal from the working class embark on a reconnaissance mission. However, before completing their mission successfully, they are captured by German soldiers. The German Commander von Rauffenstein, also from an aristocratic family, announces that Boeldieu and the others can dine with him. During the meal, Boeldieu and Rauffenstein begin to see their commonalities, all of which are class-based. However, this partnership does not prevent them from being sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. The Commander and the lieutenant befriend other soldiers in the camp and join in their escape plans. They will attempt to escape by digging a tunnel from the camp.

Cast: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay

Director: Jean Renoir

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Rocco and His Brothers, 1960

Rocco and His Brothers, 1960

IMDb: 8.2

Summary: Recently moved to Milan, Rocco and his four brothers seek a new path when a prostitute comes between Rocco and his brother Simone.

Cast: Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot

Director: Luchino Visconti

Napoleon, 1927

Napoleon, 1927

IMDb: 8.2

Summary: This biopic of Napoleon Bonaparte traces his career from school days in Corsica to his escape from Corsica, the French Revolution, and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797. Originally planned as the first of six films, director Abel Gance realized it was almost impossible to complete the entire project and never found the money to finish the other five films. The film's legendary status is due to Gance's use of complex multiple-image montages projected simultaneously on three screens in the climactic final triptych sequence, which utilized stunning technical diversity to tell Gance's story.

Cast: Albert Dieudonn茅, Vladimir Roudenko, Edmond Van Da毛le

Director: Abel Gance

Metropolis, 1927

Metropolis, 1927

IMDb: 8.3

聽Summary: In a future time, society is divided into thinkers and workers. Thinkers make plans, and workers carry them out. Though neither group is complete on its own, together they form a whole. One day, a thinker descends to the workers' underworld. His discoveries begin to change the course of life.

聽Cast: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fr枚hlich

聽Director: Fritz Lang

High and Low, 1963

High and Low, 1963

IMDb: 8.4

Summary: Mr. Gondo is a businessman with a stake in a national shoemaking company. One day, he invests everything he has worked hard for, including mortgaging his house, to increase his share in the company and become the largest shareholder. At the same time, his child is kidnapped, but the child belongs to someone else working for Mr. Gondo. The kidnapper realizes his mistake and asks Mr. Gondo for the ransom he originally wanted. Mr. Gondo hesitates on whether to pay.

Cast: Toshir么 Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Seven Samurai, 1954

Seven Samurai, 1954

IMDb: 8.6

Summary: Witnessing the courage and sacrifice of Master Samurai Kambei, a group of villagers requests him to protect their village constantly under attack by bandits. Kambei, without any personal gain, agrees and recruits first the young Samurai Katsushiro, followed by Kikuchiyo, who initially appears to be a samurai eager for combat but later reveals he is the son of a farmer. Adding four more samurai to his team, Kambei starts teaching the villagers how to defend themselves. Kambei is welcomed with joy by the villagers and gains everyone's love; however, a dramatic event will be needed for the children to get over their resentment.

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