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Martin Scorsese’s Golden Bear Reflections

todayFebruary 20, 2024

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"Cinema is not dying, is transforming..."

Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese graced the 74th Berlinale Film Festival today, where he was awarded the prestigious Honorary Golden Bear. The press conference honouring this esteemed director shed light on his unparalleled contributions to cinema and his profound insights into the art form. Here’s a closer look at some highlights from the event.

Scorsese’s Reflections on Cinema and Film Festivals

During the press conference, Scorsese eloquently shared his views on film festivals’ role in celebrating filmmakers’ voices and introducing audiences to diverse perspectives. He remarked:

“The role of the film festival has always been for me the attention to a new voice, the individual voice, the individual artist, making a film that maybe you would see once and remember for the rest of your life.”

Scorsese emphasized the transformative power of cinema, likening it to experiencing Beethoven’s symphonies, where the audience’s perception evolves with each viewing:

“Cinema can just be a kind of really enjoyable entertainment. And that’s fine too. It’s just a matter of what absorption of that and a completion that’s over, it’s finished, and it becomes boring afterwards. But it’s still very enjoyable and still very well done.”

The Art of Film Restoration

As a passionate advocate for film preservation, Scorsese discussed the meticulous process of restoring and preserving classic films. He shared insights into his criteria for selecting films for restoration, emphasizing the importance of preserving cinematic treasures for future generations. Scorsese‘s dedication to preserving cinematic heritage underscores his commitment to ensuring that timeless masterpieces continue to inspire audiences worldwide:

“A lot for me came from seeing foreing films when I was a kid. So, the idea was if films affected me, a kid who came from a neighborhood where the parents weren’t intellectuals and didn’t read books. Well, you know, maybe, a similar kids around the world might see a film be affected by it…Maybe it could change their lives.”

The Evolution of Cinema in the Digital Age

Addressing concerns about cinema’s future in digital streaming and social media, Scorsese remained optimistic about the medium’s resilience. He emphasized the importance of preserving the communal experience of watching films while embracing technological advancements. According to Scorsese, cinema’s essence lies in the individual voice of filmmakers, which transcends technological trends and platforms.

“I don’t think it’s dying at all. No, I think it’s transforming…It never was meant to be one thing. The only thing they can really hold on to is again, the individual voice. The individual voice, I must say, can express itself on Tik Tok. Or or can express itself in a four hour film, or two hour miniseries. “

Legacy and Humility

Despite his monumental achievements, Scorsese remains humble:

“I guess when I was younger I was full of even more ego and ambition. The ambition, I guess you never quite lose that to be honest. The ego I guess you never quite lose either. I tried. I tried to because it gets in the way sometimes. The more I believed people telling me such things, the more it hurt me, so I had to push that away.”

He reflected on his evolving approach to filmmaking, emphasizing the importance of artistic freedom and self-discovery:

I think it happened with “The King of Comedy” that I realized I was free. I didn’t know anything anymore, so I have to start all over again.

Future Projects

And what does the director’s future hold? Scorsese has revealed what the promotion of his latest film Killers of the Flower Moon will end with:

“I’ll get some sleep, and then I’ll wake up with a fresh idea on wehat I’m doing.”

Scorsese confirmed that the next project will be linked in some way to Jesus and Christianity, a theme he has always been interested:

“The possibilities of making a film, the concept of Jesus, the idea of Jesus really stems from my background growing up in the Lower East Side, my interest in Catholicism, in the priesthood, which really led I think, ultimately to the film Silence… I met the Pope a couple of times based on that, and at one point in a meeting, he also talked about fresher ways of thinking about Christianity and the essentials of it. I’m always interested in that.”

In honouring Martin Scorsese, the 74th Berlinale Film Festival pays tribute to a true maestro of the silver screen.

Written by: Federica Scarpa




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