Martin Scorsese gives a class on ‘Shutter Island’ movie influences

When Hollywood types are asked to name their heroes, Martin Scorsese’s name always makes the short list. For budding directors, there’s no better guy to rip off, whether it’s for a lengthy tracking shot (“Swingers”) or gritty violence set to classic rock (everything Tarantino ever did).

So who does the “GoodFellas” director borrow from?

Scorsese, whom author Dennis Lehane refers to as “a film encyclopedia on legs,” has a longer list than most. He recently shared part of it with his cast and crew during the making of “Shutter Island,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and shot at an abandoned insane asylum in Medfield, Mass.

The Gothic thriller, adapted from a Lehane novel, is a love letter to its noir predecessors: everything from the 1944 Otto Preminger classic “Laura” to campy monster movies like “Cat People” and “I Walked With a Zombie.”

“Bad titles, but beautiful works of poetry,” Scorsese says.

During production, the director screened a series of films for everyone involved (see sidebar for his syllabus). “I felt like it was the ultimate master class,” says producer Brad Fischer. “It was one of those experiences where you pinch yourself to remind yourself that you’re awake.”



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