Festival: Martin Scorsese: “Film doesn’t die, it changes”

The American director Martin Scorsese ("Killers of the Flower Moon") was awarded the Berlinale's Honorary Golden Bear for his life's work on Tuesday evening.

Festival: Martin Scorsese: “Film doesn’t die, it changes”

The American director Martin Scorsese ("Killers of the Flower Moon") was awarded the Berlinale's Honorary Golden Bear for his life's work on Tuesday evening. With his films, Scorsese has developed a trademark over the past half century, said filmmaker Wim Wenders in a eulogy for the 81-year-old. Scorsese always fought for his independence and his artistic ideas.

Following the award ceremony, Scorsese's 2006 thriller "Departed" was shown.

Scorsese himself is optimistic about the future of film. "I don't think the film is dying, it's changing," he said in Berlin. Nobody should be intimidated by technological progress. You shouldn't allow yourself to be enslaved by technology, but you have to control it accordingly. "The right direction comes from the individual voice, not something that is simply consumed and thrown away."

From Scorsese's perspective, new filmmakers can be discovered at festivals like the Berlinale. "Maybe you see a movie once and remember it for the rest of your life," he said. "Maybe the film will have changed when you see it again 30 years later." However, Scorsese pointed out: "In fact, it's not the film that changes, but you yourself have changed." This is how you can grow with a film. "It's like listening to a Beethoven symphony. It changes every time."

In September, Scorsese, along with numerous filmmakers, criticized Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens) in an open letter after she announced a change in leadership at the Berlinale. A little later, the management duo Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian announced the honor for Scorsese.

Childhood among Mafiosi

Martin Scorsese was born in New York in 1942 as the son of Sicilian workers. The little boy spent his childhood in the “Little Italy” district - a neighborhood at the time characterized by mafia structures and street crime. "Martin Scorsese owes his best works to his milieu experiences," writes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung many films and years later, "it was the streets of New York from which Martin Scorsese wrested his best material."

"Witches' Cauldron", a harsh study of life on the streets of New York, first earned him praise from many critics in 1973. In the years that followed, many of these films flickered across the screen; Scorsese's passion for the mafia genre was sealed with "Goodfellas", "Casino" and "The Irishman". His experiences and observations from childhood are constantly reflected in his filmography.

Fascination with power

The filmmaker is particularly interested in one thing about organized crime: the question of power. “How people deal with power, how they gain power, how they lose power, how they fight to maintain their power,” Scorsese tells the Süddeutsche Zeitung magazine. "The question that interests me is always: Who makes the law? Who is the law?" Power can be seen in many institutions: state, church, dynasties or governments. However, there are not only the laws of the state, but also those of the street.

Scorsese actually wanted to become a priest, but falling into the gangster milieu was never an option for the devout Catholic. Instead, he transported his stories from the street to the screen in the director's chair - and became a Hollywood legend with allies like actor Robert De Niro and cameraman Michael Ballhaus.

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