Famed American filmmaker Martin Scorsese was interviewed during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in France on Wednesday, just a month after receiving word that his Netflix project “The Irishman” will not be screened at the festival. Nevertheless, he received an award from fellow directors for the body of his work. The festival will screen “Mean Streets,” Scorsese's 1974 film that was featured at the time at the Cannes festival before he won the Palme d’Or for his film “Taxi Driver.”
Netflix, which is producing plenty of its own content to stream on the internet, chose not to screen any of its offerings for 2018 at Cannes. This came after the festival recently ruled that only theatrically released films would be eligible for awards.
Scorcese asked rhetorically, "Today, where are the filmmakers and funding?”
"The new voices, the different looks, have to be supported in one way or another."
"Things are in flux, and one has to take advantage as to how the technology and the circumstances. But the most important thing is that the films have got to get made. New people have to give the support and the money. I mean anything, even if it's ten dollars." Scorsese said, "What's interesting is that you can make a film with an iPhone or anything. They don't even need that. But where will it be shown?" He called for "openmindness" to benefit the "culture of cinema."
"When I was a kid, I went to the movies once or twice a week," said Scorsese. “This is no longer the case today, at the time in the 1970s we did not even imagine not that our films can be shown on television, and if so, they went back to the point of absurdity, and I insist: we would never have thought of broadcasting an entire film without advertising on television. You have to take advantage of the technology and the circumstances, but most importantly, you have to keep making movies. "
“Today, I think that if I were a young American, I could not work with a studio,” Scorsese added. He noted that videos can be made with a mobile phone when he urged his listeners to consider being open to the effect of technology on the evolution of cinema.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told Variety last month, “We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker.” Sarandos said, “There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”
At the 2017 Cannes festival, Netflix showed the Bong Joon-ho film “Okja” and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” to applause from audiences. However, French labor unions and cinema owners complained. Because of the decision by the Cannes festival to effectively ban Netflix’s offerings, the future for Netflix’s projects at the festival, including Scorsese’s “The Irishman”, starring Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, is in doubt.