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The Influentials: Movies

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The Prodigies’ Progeny
“Every filmmaker that comes out is influenced by Martin Scorsese,” Woody Allen once said. And he’s right—Scorsese is the most imitated director since, well, Woody Allen. It’s hard to make a film about this town—or anywhere else—without ripping off one or the other. Now that their best work may be behind them, it’s time to round up their cinematic offspring.

Woody Allen's Progeny


David O. Russell
Given its “existential detectives” and comic philosophy, I ♥ Huckabees could be called I ♥ Woody.

Nicole Holofcener
Really, couldn’t every Allen movie be titled Friends With Money?

Alexander Payne
Woody could have written—or played— the lead in Sideways.

Terry Zwigoff
The vintage- record-loving girls of Ghost World were practically little Woodys in drag.

Edward Burns
Sidewalks of New York was Woody Lite for the goyim.

Nora Ephron
May still be paying him royalties for When Harry Met Sally.

Todd Solondz
Borrowing less from Allen’s films than from his frumpled public persona.

Noah Baumbach
The Squid and the Whale updated Woody’s world: intellectuals with sexual issues.

Martin Scorsese's Progeny


Fernando Meirelles
The Brazilian film City of God was the freshest take on Mean Streets in ages.

Paul Thomas Anderson
Boogie Nights clipped from GoodFellas, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver—sometimes all at once.

Quentin Tarantino
Reservoir Dogs was a Scorsese film by a video clerk who’d watched way too many Scorsese films.

Wes Anderson
Scorsese himself nodded to the Bottle Rocket director as “the next Scorsese.” Though he could just as well be on Allen’s list.

Ang Lee
Both reimagined race-based genre films with grace and agility (GoodFellas; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

Wayne Kramer
Just one of many who apes Scorsese with diminishing returns in films like The Cooler and Running Scared.

Georgia Lee
She apprenticed on Gangs of New York. And her Red Doors is just his kind of New York immigrant tale.

David Chase
Without GoodFellas, there is no such thing as The Sopranos.

Spike Lee
What Scorsese did for Italians, Lee’s done for African-Americans (who often run afoul of Italians).

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