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A Deep Dive into Scorsese’s Contributions Beyond the Screen



Director Martin Scorsese is attuned to the language of color more than most. On a regular afternoon, his medium-dark blue shirt may seem inconsequential, but under the right light, it morphs into a vibrant hue, evoking the colors you’d see in the natural world or in cinema. This sensitivity to color goes beyond the aesthetic; it connects to Scorsese’s broader mission of preserving the art form he so deeply reveres.

Film Preservation: A Cultural Necessity

In 1990, Scorsese founded the Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization aimed at conserving deteriorating film history. Through the foundation, he has endeavored to restore films like Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s “The Red Shoes” to their original glory. Scorsese, who watched the film as an 8-year-old with his father, believes such restoration is not just about nostalgia but has a broader cultural and spiritual significance, akin to reading a book.

More than Movies: Life through Cinema

While Scorsese could be dubbed the “patron saint of film bros” due to his exhaustive knowledge of film, his approach to movies is intrinsically tied to his life experiences. Whether reminiscing about his love for westerns as a child or sharing stories about his Aunt Mary taking him to a double feature, his relationship with cinema extends beyond the technical aspects to how films impact the human soul.

Cinematic Culture in Crisis: A Worrying Trend

According to Scorsese, the future of cinema is at a crossroads. The director expresses concerns about the fragmentation of cinematic culture. In the era of content commodification, the essence of movie-going is being eroded. As the line between art and entertainment becomes increasingly blurred, both industry moguls and audiences are inclined to lean into their baser instincts, leading to a crisis in movie artistry.

Scorsese at 80: An Unfinished Journey

Martin Scorsese Filming

At 80, Scorsese is far from slowing down. He continuously integrates his cinematic history, literary pursuits, and life experiences into an evolving tapestry of spirituality and self-examination. His latest project, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” an adaptation of David Grann’s 2017 book, continues this exploration by delving into the grim history of the Osage Nation in the 1920s.

A Sobering New Film: “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Scheduled for release on October 20 in theaters before streaming on Apple TV+, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is a departure from Scorsese’s more overtly violent works like “Taxi Driver” and “Goodfellas.” Instead, it focuses on a subtler form of violence stemming from greed, racism, and entitlement. The film not only showcases Scorsese’s continued commitment to nuanced storytelling but also serves as a testament to his career-long pursuit of what he calls a “radical truth.”

The legacy of Martin Scorsese is not simply about the films he’s made but also the broader contributions he has made to cinema—from film preservation to intellectual discourse. As an artist concerned with the future of cinematic culture, his work acts as both a window into the intricacies of the human condition and a mirror reflecting the state of our collective cultural values.