Many of Martin Scorsese’s characters fancy themselves masters of their own universe. But what makes them so sure?

As we’ve learned from their dizzying, often downward paths to their fates, that idea is merely an illusion of control—one that emboldens their criminal behavior, hedonism, excess, hubris, or worse before ultimately shattering before their eyes. This begs the question: If the perspectives and judgements of Scorsese’s anti-heroes are unreliable, whose does Marty rely on?

This thought-provoking, evocative video essay by Jorge Luengo Ruiz, “Martin Scorsese // God’s Point of View,” speculates that perhaps the auteur is taking cues from a higher power. Moments of horror, anguish, ecstasy, serenity and mystery in many of Scorsese’s films from the 1960s to the present are stitched together, here, for us to consider whether the exploits of Travis Bickle, Jake La Motta, Henry Hill, Bill the Butcher, Jesus of Nazareth, Teddy Daniels, Howard Hughes, Jordan Belfort and others are being observed by some omniscient being. Watch the video below and decide whether “the one upstairs” is the final, uncredited member of all of Scorsese’s casts.

For more divine moviemaking intervention from Scorsese and co., check out our Things I’ve Learned installments with the director and his longtime editor, Thelma SchoonmakerMM

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