The 80-year-old got candid about his mortality after running into an old friend. Many people were deeply moved by the Academy Award-winning filmmaker's words.
Award-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese recently dropped some thought-provoking nuggets of wisdom ahead of the release of his latest epic "Killers of the Flower Moon." The 80-year-old has produced beautiful works of cinema from his earlier works like "Taxi Driver" (1976) and "Raging Bull" (1980) to gangster films like 1990's "Goodfellas," 1995's "Casino," 2006's "The Departed" and 2019's "The Irishman." His thriving career has lasted decades and over time he's learned to confront his mortality. The legendary filmmaker spoke with GQ recently for a cover story and shared a story of how he met a friend he hadn't seen in years.
“I saw an old friend a few weeks ago here; my God, we’ve known each other since 1970. I hadn’t seen her in years. But by the time she left, we embraced and held onto each other for, like, 10 minutes, not knowing if we would see each other again. But couldn’t say more. But that’s good. It’s narrowed down,” he shared. The quote left an impact on many people who were deeply moved by the Academy Award-winning filmmaker's words.
@TomiLaffly tweeted, "Been thinking about this all morning... in tears." @thescreendoor added, "I just read this again 10 minutes ago and I keep thinking about a friend I may never see again and I’m significantly younger than him. I’m going to go going back to this interview for years." @WhyyTom noted, "I think about mortality far more than I probably should. It’s painful to know that my heroes are confronting the same conflicts in their lives, perhaps with more urgency."
Very sad to realize— david a (@spec4david) September 26, 2023
In later parts of the interview, the director even claimed he had once wanted to quit working in Hollywood which would have been a devastating blow to his fans. At the time he was frustrated by the constraints that former producer Harvey Weinstein placed upon him when he made 2002's "Gangs of New York" with Weinstein's former company, Miramax. “I realized that I couldn’t work if I had to make films that way ever again,” Scorsese told the outlet.
The 71-year-old disgraced producer tried to exert more control over the movie's budget and runtime and Scorsese was not okay with that. “If that was the only way that I was able to be allowed to make films, then I’d have to stop," he said. "Because the results weren’t satisfying. It was at times extremely difficult, and I wouldn’t survive it. I’d be dead. And so I decided it was over, really.” He added that it got to such a low point that "I just said, ‘I’m no longer making films.'" But fortunately for fans, he’d talked himself into 2006’s "The Departed" which was a massive hit.
Across his decades-long career in the industry, Scorsese's thought-provoking words have often had a deep effect on cinema lovers. He once sparked a heated discussion among critics and fans by calling out superhero film franchises. When he was asked a question about Marvel movies once by Empire he replied that they weren't cinema. "I don't see them. I tried, you know? But that's not cinema," the award-winning director said. "Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well-made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn't the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being."
Later in The New York Times, he explained what exactly he meant by that. "I said that I've tried to watch a few of them and that they're not for me, that they seem to me to be closer to theme parks than they are to movies as I've known and loved them throughout my life, and that in the end, I don't think they're cinema," he wrote, adding: "Cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected. In superhero movies, nothing is at risk. The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes."