At 81 years old, Martin Scorsese continues to think about cinema, transmitting ideas with scripts that sound like music and still not ready to stop working. He measures his life in movies, not years, and still keeps his feet on the ground.
Because the New Yorker does not forget that he was lucky enough that Paul Newman offered to film with him, but there were other times when it was not so easy. “There were times when no one picked up the phone“, remember.
Scorsese visits Spain after his latest film, ‘The Moon Killers’, from Apple Original Films, has earned 10 Oscar nominations, including best film, best direction and best leading actress for Lily Gladstone, who has accompanied the maestro on this excursion to Madrid although he did not go with him to the Film Academy where this Friday he chatted about cinema with the Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés.
The harsh conditions imposed by Apple, promoter of the visit, with limited invitations and an express prohibition on recording the event in audio or video, have turned the talk into an object of desire that has left many followers, academics and not, outside the event. .
Scorsese’s ease and impeccable memory have made the brief conversation in which curiosities about ‘The Moon Killers‘ in a master class on film history.
The American director began to talk about cinema, life and music – for him, almost the same thing – and ended up telling anecdotes with his favorite actors, Robert De Niro and Leonardo Di Caprio.
And he put it in the bag the first time he filmed with Al Pacino: “He repeated and repeated, I said: we have it, but he continued -he laughs-. If an actor enjoys working, I leave it to his own devices, even if they are things that I am not going to use, although I will use them later anyway.“.
“I’m not talking about years but about movies”
The director of ‘One of Ours’ ensures that each of his 27 movies – “if there have been 27, I don’t keep count” – it has been “an excursion to create something, each one like a universe. And that affects you in your private life too. Because each one requires a singular effort, I don’t I’m talking about years but about movies.”
“I realize that I have explored the technique as much as I can; this has to do with camera movement and some structures in storytelling narratives and that is why I have alternated fiction with documentaries.” Although he doesn’t entirely like that term because, he points out, he does with them “the same thing as in narrated films.”
“I try to don’t set limits, I don’t like to be restricted by what is considered narrative. The most difficult thing for me is the plot, the story. Why does the public have to know everything? I can’t follow the thread of a plot, I still don’t know what happened in ‘The Departed’, and I think neither does the scriptwriter,” he joked, once again causing laughter from the audience.
He declares himself a lover of Soviet cinema since he was 20 – he cites ‘Battleship Potemkin’ – which he explored in ‘One of Ours’ (…). “The superimposition of images that occurred in the ‘underground’ movement of cinema in New York, seemed to me to come from a working-class environment, my own. For years I was fascinated by fade-outs, until I read that Otto Preminger hated them,” he returns to smile.
“I no longer need pyrotechnics in my cinema”
“Back then there was no CGI – computer created images – you couldn’t ‘stitch’ the shots together to make it look like one, but now you can. So, If images don’t mean anything, we’ll have to reinvent images. I try to think again and feel something different, not interfere to show that I can do pyrotechnics with sound and the camera. “I no longer need pyrotechnics in my cinema,” he said.
The master’s agility to open himself to new audiovisual trends from his intellect is surprising.
If viewers are going to see a movie, let’s not make them bitter with a long string of credits, he considers, and although he is nostalgic for “those beautiful presentations – I did it in ‘Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore’ – that’s no longer the case.” It is, it is another world, Now viewers want the movie to start quickly.”
He cares a lot about that first scene that “gets you into the story, the way it begins, the speed: an image that should attract the public is as risky and difficult as a good montage.”
And he has told how, at the end of ‘The Assassins of the Moon’, he felt guilty and wanted to be the one to address the audience in person to ask for forgiveness, in that recreation of the radio programs “with such bad scripts.”
“I didn’t think it would be such an emotional moment for me.”“, he said in one of the few moments in which he became serious. The film is a story in which forgiveness is apologized for the abuses committed against the Native Americans, personified in the Osage Indians.