Cinematic evolution – the ability to take what has come before and advance it – is rarely a direct or strictly generational process. Filmmakers will usually have their own personal epiphanies in solitude, while connecting to the soul of a director through his film, not through personal knowledge of the individual. Martin Scorsese will admit the indelible influence that other filmmakers have had on him, and so to impart the knowledge of cinema on to other filmmakers, he has an apprenticeship, of sorts, in which he allows burgeoning directors to visit his set. Simon Schama has a very interesting article about in the Financial Times.
One of the most interesting things about the article is the way in which it illuminates Scorsese’s unique subversion. His inspiration for Goodfellas was not, perhaps, traditional gangster films, but a black comedy, which ensures that his films, while set in a particular genre, take the genre in a totally different direction. The entire article is worth reading in order to see things from Scorsese’s perspective.