A few quotes by Martin Scorsese from a recent interview at the BFI conducted by Edgar Wright:
On his love of cinema and supporting new directors:
“I think for me I naturally had an enthusiasm to wanna share an experience with other people. And whether that’s a performance that you see in a theatre, or for me it was not necessarily theatre because I came from a background, we couldn’t afford to go to theatre, so it was in cinema or movie theaters at the time, in the 40s and 50s into the early 60s. So I had an enthusiasm really, and I wanted somebody to share that and enjoy it with, he or she, all together, you know.
When I started to make short films and everything or get others interested in the same films I was interested in, and there’d be discussions and arguments and something would come outta that, but primarily by the time I did Mean Streets and other films I began to get very, very excited by sharing as much as possible my experience with younger filmmakers. And then when they came back and showed me their films, when I saw their films, and I know that I had a kinda almost a little bit of a feeling of pride that I influenced people by not necessarily my films, by recommending other films, and then from their films, I get re-inspired. It opens up a whole world, you know.
It could be light years different from what I do, but I don’t care, you know. But I still have that. I always thought of myself more as a teacher than as a filmmaker.”
On his ‘non-elitist’ view of film:
“For me, I had no prejudice, or not prejudice, the wrong word, but had no expectations. In those days, too, you just went to the movies. And whether it was good or bad, you know, it was up to you. It seemed that we were able to absorb different kinds of films and we weren’t necessarily told, now this is a special film, this you have to really pay attention, sort of like eat your spinach, you know. I was getting all of these other senses of, a sense of other cultures coming in through the cinema, so that it opened me up to all kinds of cinema. Even if it was the American underground cinema, just be open to it. I would have friends who would get angry. I said, ‘No, just try to go with it.’
And so not necessarily making films like that, but being around that creativity was quite extraordinary in the New York Underground, for example.
So it was really a matter of being open to all cultures and all ways of thinking and all ways of telling a story with pictures.”