The veteran director, 80, will soon release his latest picture, which is set in 1920s Oklahoma and follows a series of murders in a Native American community. At 3hrs 26, the Leonardo DiCaprio-led picture easily beats the year’s previously longest blockbuster, Oppenheimer, which is 3hrs long.
However, Scorsese has defended the running time from critics and naysayers, pointing out that fans will happily watch a TV show for much longer.
“People say it’s three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours,” the Goodfellas director told the Hindustan Times.
“Also, there are many people who watch theatre for three and a half hours. There are real actors on stage, you can’t get up and walk around. You give it that respect, give cinema some respect.”
Elsewhere in the interview, published on Monday (9 October), Scorsese revealed himself as a fan of the Barbenheimer craze of summer 2023.
The term “Barbenheimer” is a portmanteau of the blockbuster hit films Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. As they both hit cinemas on 29 July this year, the movies were often considered together regarding box office impact.
With Barbie being a bright, colourful feature about the iconic Mattel doll, while Oppenheimer was a brooding, lengthy exploration of the man who created the atomic bomb, the differences between the films’ content added to the excitement surrounding their duelling release dates.
Scorsese shared a positive view about the films bringing a range of film fans to the cinema in recent months: “It seemed to be, I hate that word, but the perfect storm,” he told the publication.
“It came about at the right time. And the most important thing is that people went to watch these in a theatre. And I think that’s wonderful.”
Despite not having seen either film, Scorsese was sure to state his appreciation for Nolan as well as Barbie star Margot Robbie, with whom he worked on the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street.
He then went on to praise how the popularity of the contrasting films offered hope for the future of the industry.
Scorsese continued: “The way it fit perfectly – a film with such entertainment value, purely with the bright colours – and a film with such severity and strength, and pretty much about the danger of the end to our civilisation – you couldn’t have more opposite films to work together.
“It does offer some hope for a different cinema to emerge, different from what’s been happening in the last 20 years, aside from the great work being done in independent cinema. I always get upset by that, the independent films being relegated to ‘indies.’ Films that only a certain kind of people would like. Just show them on a tiny screen somewhere.”
Killers of the Flower Moon will be released in cinemas on Wednesday 18 October.