Well, if you don’t believe it, Ali Shirazi makes a compelling argument — Martin Scorsese loves mirrors. Yep. Mirrors. In his nearly three-minute video, Shirazi makes a pretty solid case for Scorsese’s frequent use of mirrors in film.
Kudos to the editor for integrating “The Big Shave” — Scorsese’s 1968 short — and tracking the motif from there on out. “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “Shutter Island.” They all fit the bill. Whether it’s Leo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, or one of the plethora of other stars Scorsese has worked with over his illustrious career, it’s not uncommon for moviegoers to observe them glancing — and talking — into a mirror.
What is it about mirrors? Is it that they convey a reflection on humanity, on ourselves, that we make the determinations about? Are they how we perceive our reality? Is what you see in the mirror different than what I see? So often in Scorsese’s films, reality slips away, and a glance in the mirror might be the final vestige of sanity — or the greatest indicator of its loss.
Is the mirror a reflection of reality, or a complete distortion? When you look into it — at least, when Scorsese’s protagonists do — what do you see? Check out the video below, and see what looks back at you. [35MM]