Taking advantage of the presence in the Official Section of the cannes film festival of Killers of the Flower Moon, Deadline has published an exciting interview with its director, Martin Scorsese. The veteran filmmaker has shared a series of emotional reflections on the state of his career (causing fears of a possible retirement) in parallel to the disclosure of a lawsuit filed against him and his producer for accepting money to make a film that never they made. But for now, let’s focus on everything Scorsese has to say.
Killers of the Flower Moon is a monumental length film that is based on a book by david grann (known in Spain as the moon killers). It is a historical drama that reviews the atrocities committed against the osage tribe in the 1920s, mired in systemic racism and greed for oil. Scorsese is fully immersed, therefore, in a social problem, and from there the conversation has turned to one of the most illustrious projects that he never rejected: schindler’s listdrama about the Holocaust.
schindler’s listas we all know, ended up being directed by Steven Spielberg. Scorsese, decades later, remembers when he started working on the film. “For schindler’s list I hired steve zillian, and Steve and I worked on the script. He was about to direct it. But at a certain point I started to have qualmsScorsese explains. As the filmmaker admits, there was a clear reason why he preferred to distance himself from schindler’s list and this was the bad thing he had had when directing, years before, The last temptation of Christ.
“We must not forget that we were in 1990. I did The last temptation of Christ in 1988. The goal was to start a dialogue about something that is still important to me, which is the nature of love, which could be God, could be Jesus”. This film, starring Willem Dafoesought to humanize Jesus Christ according to the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, and unleashed a great controversy in the Christian community. “I’m not being culturally ambivalentIt is what is in us. Is God in us? I like to explore that. I wanted to talk to that.”
From Christ to Schindler
His concerns were not well received by the public. “It was the reception of The last temptation of Christ what separated me from schindler’s list. I did the best I could. I went around the world. I accept any argument. I may have been wrong, though I’m not sure one can be wrong. with a dogma. But we could discuss it.” When she finally pulled away from schindler’s list, Scorsese argued that he was not Jewish. That’s why Spielberg was preferable.
“In the case of schindler’s list the trauma that I had gone through was such that I felt that I had to address that issue… I knew that there were Jewish people upset because the writer of Ana Frank’s diary He was gentle,” recalls the director. “I heard there were people who criticized Schindler, who said that he used the prisoners to get money from them. Said ‘One moment’. I could, well, not defend him, but could argue who he was. I think he was an incredible man, but I didn’t know if he was ready for it at the time. He did not have the necessary knowledge ”.
Spielberg, for his part, had spent years thinking about the story of Oscar Schindler. “I remember Steve Spielberg mentioning it to me all the time. He held up the book as we were flying to Cannes and told me ‘This is my dark movie and I’m going to do it.’ That happened in 1975. And I replied ‘I have The last temptation of Christ and I’m going to do it”, recalls Scorsese, and returns to what happened in the 90s. “Then I justified myself by saying that he was not jewish. What he meant was that the journey was to be made by a Jew through that world, and I think Steven learned that too.”
“He came from, where is he set? The Fabelmansphoenix? He told me that there were only 200 Jews in Phoenix. I could not believe it. I come from Lower East Sideand I grew up with the Jewish community. I wasn’t being altruistic, but it made sense to me that he was the person who really had to go through this. I was worried that I would not be able to do justice to the situation.” schindler’s listreleased in 1993, dazzled critics and won seven Oscars including Best film and best direction.
Scorsese believes, finally, that not having directed it he benefited the film. “I guarantee that if I had done it, it wouldn’t have been as successful as it was. Although it could have been good. She had some ideas. A different ending. She greatly admired the film. But I know my movies don’t go there. They don’t go to the academy”. Scorsese didn’t win an Oscar until 2007, with Departed. It had previously had 13 nominations, including one for Best Director for, yes, The last temptation of Christ.
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