Martin Scorsese

Source: Berlinale

Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese wants to do something “thought-provoking and also entertaining” with his upcoming Jesus film.

He was speaking at the Berlinale press conference ahead of receiving his honorary award tonight (February 20). 

Scorsese said he was currently “contemplating” the film right now which he will begin focusing on after promoting Killers Of The Flower Moon. “What kind of film it will be, I’m not quite sure. But I want to make something unique and different and thought-provoking and I hope also entertaining. I’m not quite sure yet how to go about it,” the 81-year-old admitted.

The US director, who is receiving a lifetime achievement award, joked that once he “gets some sleep”, he hopes to wake up with a “fresh idea of how to do it”.

“The connection has been because of the Jesuit missionaries in Japan in the 17th Century and I believe his Holiness, the pope, is Jesuit,” Scorsese went on to say, referring to his most recent meeting with Pope Francis earlier this year.

The director first met the pope after his 2016 feature Silence which, along with his latest project, was inspired by his childhood. “[The Jesus film] really stems from my background growing up in the Lower East Side, my interest in Catholicism, and priesthood, which ultimately led to the film Silence,” he explained. “That particular film was viewed by the Vatican, and I met the Pope a couple of times based on that. He also called for fresher ways of thinking about the essentials of Christianity. I’m always interested in that.”

Scorsese is also at the festival to promote David Hinton’s documentary Made In England: The Films Of Powell And Pressburger which he narrates and exec produces.

During the press conference, the director also name-checked Celine Song’s Past Lives as a young filmmaker he admires and spoke about the impact of changing technology on film. 

Explaining how he does not believe that cinema is “dying”, Scorses said: ” The technology’s changed so rapidly and exhaustedly, that in a sense the only thing you can really hold on to is the individual voice. The individual voice can express itself on TikTok or can express itself on a four-hour film or a two-hour miniseries.

”I don’t think we should let the technology scare us, don’t become a slave to technology. Let us control the technology and put it in the right direction. The right direction being the individual voice, as opposed to something consumed and tossed away.”