Martin Scorsese has no desire to rank films.
The auteur and writer-director of “Killers of the Flower Moon” said during a Time magazine video (below) that he is “against” Top 10 lists of movies, especially when citing his own favorite films.
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“I’ve tried to make lists over the years of films I personally feel are my favorites, whatever that means,” Scorsese said. “And then you find out that the word ‘favorite’ has different levels: Films that have impressed you the most, as opposed to films you just like to keep watching, as opposed to those you keep watching and learning from, or experiencing anew. So, they’re varied. And I’m always sort of against ’10 best’ lists.”
He continued, “Well yes, there’s ‘Citizen Kane.’ That changed my life. He broke all of the rules. One of the things that [Orson] Welles said was one of the best things you can bring to filmmaking is ignorance. When they say you can’t do this, why not?”
Scorsese listed Welles’ “Crimes at Midnight” and “The Trial” as other must-see features, in addition to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Barry Lyndon” and more iconic movies.
“There are films like that when you talk about film influences that there are memories that stay in your head,” Scorsese said, pointing to his admiration for fellow auteurs referenced in his own films like “Kundun.”
Scorsese recently told Time in the latest cover story that rising filmmakers need to follow in Welles’ footsteps and refute studio norms.
“Young people expressing themselves with moving images, they’re going to find a way to be seen,” Scorsese said. “But they have to fight, they have to really, really fight and not be co-opted.”
The “Goodfellas” icon continued of the studios, “Ultimately, they say, ‘Well, who wants personal filmmaking? Look what happened in the ’70s. By the end of it, you all went mad! And you went over budget and schedule, and you made these three movies, “Apocalypse Now,” “Raging Bull,” and “Heaven’s Gate”!'”
Scorsese pointed to his own upbringing of seeing as many films as possible regardless of genre to learn from the masters. “It should be one cinematic culture, you know? But right now everything is being fragmented and broken up in a way,” he said. “Not everybody liked musicals. Not everybody liked westerns. Not everybody liked gangster films or noirs. But at the time, we just went to the movies, and that’s what was playing.”
— TIME (@TIME) September 12, 2023
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