When it comes to cinema, Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese has been celebrated as a trendsetting filmmaker for over six decades. Many of today’s biggest directors have named him a major influence. So when he speaks, people listen. Recently, the celebrated director gave his blunt thoughts about the current state of the industry.
Martin Scorsese’s career as a filmmaker has been brought forth some of cinema’s most celebrated films – Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino and The Departed, just to name a few. Over the years, the celebrated director has been critical of the current film landscape to mixed reception. Scorsese recently authored an essay titled “Il Maestro” about filmmaker Federico Fellini for Harper’s Magazine. In the essay, he chose to speak about the business end using the term “content” for all media instead of film.
After equating the film industry to industry titan Amazon, Martin Scorsese weighed the positive and negative options of all media being on streaming platforms. But he did question whether this level playing field is affecting the integrity of filmmaking.
As previously stated, Martin Scorsese has been critical of the changing film landscape. So these latest words weren’t out of the norm for him. His words also spoke of a great filmmaker who still loves the art of cinema but despises non-creatives making creative decisions. Scorsese appeared to love the benefits of streamers (see: his deal with Netflix) while worrying about their lasting effect on the moviegoing experience. As he pointed out, streaming platforms rely on numbers and not pushing the art forward.
But Martin Scorsese’s perspective on cinema was formed during his childhood as a young film enthusiast. So, he's remained a true cinema lover even after joining the Hollywood system himself. But he hasn’t been the only one to criticize the shift in filmmaking. Fellow filmmakers such as M. Night Shyamalan, Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan have spoken out against film releases being driven by film studios’ business interests rather than the art of cinema. At this point, Scorsese and other directors seem to be in a battle over art versus business. Only time will tell who will be victorious in that battle – filmmakers or studio executives.
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