Scorsese: Film Is Dead, TV Isn’t Compensating

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese made waves earlier this month when he admitted he didn’t watch much contemporary cinema as films today don’t hold much meaning for him.

In a new interview with Associated Press, the “Silence” helmer elaborates on that statement, saying the kind of moviemaking he was a part of has essentially faded away:

“Cinema is gone. The cinema I grew up with and that I’m making, it’s gone. The theater will always be there for that communal experience, there’s no doubt. But what kind of experience is it going to be? Is it always going to be a theme-park movie? I sound like an old man, which I am. The big screen for us in the ’50s, you go from Westerns to ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ to the special experience of ‘2001’ in 1968. The experience of seeing ‘Vertigo’ and ‘The Searchers’ in VistaVision.”

Certainly cinema is heading more and more towards a two-tier system with massive blockbuster event films in most places, and smaller arthouse films in select other spots – the ‘middle’, the mid-budget and adult dramas that use to fill the multiplexes, is more often than not migrating to VOD platforms or has become the domain of television.

Scorsese also admits he isn’t buying the idea of the ‘golden age of television’ and how great cinema is moving there:

“TV, I don’t think has taken that place. Not yet. I tried it. I had success to a certain extent. ‘Vinyl’ we tried but we found that the atmosphere for the type of picture we wanted to make – the nature of the language, the drugs, the sex, depicting the rock ‘n’ roll world of the ’70s – we got a lot of resistance. So I don’t know about that freedom.”

Scorsese’s “Vinyl” premiered earlier this year to mixed critical response and poor ratings, the project being quickly cancelled after just one season. Scorsese’s new film “Silence” opens on December 23rd.