Movies | May 30, 2020 10:00 am

Martin Scorsese Made a Short Film in Quarantine

The new short blends clips of other films with thoughts on isolation

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese in 2010.
Siebbi/Creative Commons

What do you do when you’re an acclaimed filmmaker with some extra time on your hands due to quarantining? Evidently, you work on a short film. Spike Lee did it with a short film titled NEW YORK, NEW YORK. That’s not to be confused with the feature film New York, New York, directed by Martin Scorsese — but now it appears that Scorsese has joined Lee in the “made a short film in his downtime” camp. (Really, anything that gives us new work by Scorsese or Lee is fine with us.)

At Polygon, Karen Han has the details. Scorsese’s short made its debut on Lockdown Culture with Mary Beard. For viewers without easy access to the BBC, the short film has been posted to Twitter, albeit in three parts.

Throughout the short, Scorsese balances his own thoughts on isolation with images of, and clips from, films that have inspired him. He also alludes to his in-the-works adaptation of David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon, and shares a moving remembrance of the late Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

Scorsese’s film balances the sprawling and the confined, and deals in part with the paradox inherent in that. Or, to phrase it slightly differently, it’s a playfully-made film about subjects that are anything but playful. And if it leaves you craving more of Scorsese’s work with a short running time, you’re in luck. The Criterion Collection recently released a collection of his short films, spanning the early days of Scorsese’s career.

Also featured on the DVD? A discussion including Uncut Gems‘ Josh and Benny Safdie — who, come to think of it, also fall into the camp of iconic New York filmmakers we’d love to see a quarantine short from.

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