Why Directing Legend Martin Scorsese Likes Netflix

"They came up with the money and the freedom," Scorsese said

Director Martin Scorsese speaks at Lincoln Center. (Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Director Martin Scorsese speaks at Lincoln Center. (Jim Spellman/WireImage)
By Evan Bleier / May 1, 2019 7:42 am

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Unlike his fellow director Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese is a big fan of Netflix.

The director of acclaimed films such as Goodfellas and Casino, Scorsese has two movies which are set to be released on the streaming service and select theaters.

As such, he’s obviously biased on the matter, but Scorsese was very complimentary of Netflix while speaking at a gala celebrating the 50th anniversary of Film at Lincoln Center. The director said he decided to go with Netflix for his pair of new films because, “they came up with the money, and the freedom.”

Those films, music documentary Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese and gangster movie The Irishman, could both theoretically be in Oscar contention (It is Marty we’re talking about) so Scorsese felt compelled to weigh in on the Academy vs. Netflix debate.

“You gotta give them a break, because it’s a new world,” Scorsese said of the Academy’s handling of Netflix. “They may do different things. One can’t ignore the big box-office films, but on the other hand, that’s not The Graduate. It’s not Schindler’s List. It’s not one of my pictures! They’re gonna work it out. I want people to be patient with them, because they need to try different things, argue it out, because it makes you think, ‘What is a film? And how should a film be presented, especially in a new world?’ I think the cards are stacked for the big budget, and that’s a problem.”

A Bob Dylan Story will be available to stream starting June 11 and The Irishman is expected to be released sometime in the fall.

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