Martin Scorsese is undoubtedly one of the greatest living filmmakers, and a huge reason for this is his passion for film history. Scorsese has a vast depth of knowledge of movies going all the way the back to the silent era, as well as an interest in a wide variety of movies from all over the world. Martin Scorsese has been instrumental in preserving old films, and raising awareness of world cinema through various projects.
In a recent TIME magazine interview, Scorsese discusses his ’10 Favorite Films,’ although he’s against the notion of ‘ten best lists.’ Scorsese discusses some of the films and filmmakers who have had a huge influence on him, starting with Orson Welles. Instead of just focusing on Welles’ best-known work Citizen Kane, Scorsese highlights The Trial (1962) as informing his new movie Killers of the Flower Moon.
Scorsese also discusses Welles’ Chimes at Midnight (1965), which focuses on the Shakespearean character of Falstaff – mainly covering the events of the two Henry IV plays. Scorsese says; “Out of this ‘Shakespearean play,’ comes this extraordinary filmmaking. As far as action scenes are concerned, the best battle scene ever put on film is in Chimes at Midnight.”
Scorsese continues; “I know the guys who did Braveheart studied it, and we studied it a lot. It’s different from Eisenstein, it’s different from Alexander Nevsky (1938), it’s different from [Battleship] Potemkin (1925) of course. Never quite anything like it.”
Scorsese mentions a scene in Welles’ The Trial with children’s eyes looking through slats and says it directly influenced the first shots of his new thriller movie Killers of the Flower Moon. The film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro is based on the true story of the Osage Nation murders in Oklahoma during the 1920s after oil was found on tribal land. It will be released on October 20, 2023.