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Watch: Martin Scorsese’s Romance with New York City

This new video essay by Leigh Singer from the BFI posits, not so controversially, that director Martin Scorsese and the location of New York City are one of cinema’s great screen couples:

This video essay focuses exclusively on Scorsese’s features and argues that, in his hands, the physical place transforms into psychological space: an X-ray not just of a city’s psyche, but of a nation’s soul. It makes for often brutal viewing, rarely indulging the aspirational side of the American Dream (does the Statue of Liberty feature even once in a Scorsese film?); but few can deny its authenticity. And for all the justifiable claims that Robert De Niro or Leonardo DiCaprio are Martin Scorsese’s greatest onscreen muse, surely that honour goes to the city that helped shape him – and which he’s done more than anyone else to stamp on our collective cinematic consciousness.

Revisit some of Scorsese’s great New York moments in Singer’s video essay, above.

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