While Martin Scorsese‘s “Silence” is easily his most powerful exploration yet of the devout having their faith tested, the filmmaker, who once considered becoming a priest, has long prayed at the altar of cinema. There are few advocates for the medium as eloquent or knowledgeable as Scorsese, and even as a Netflix deal is inked for his upcoming “The Irishman,” his soul will not be bought so quickly or converted to the temple of convenient streaming at home.
Speaking at BFI Southbank this week, Scorsese relayed his issues with watching movies at movie, and why going to the cinema is always the preferred method to experience film.
“The problem now is that it is everything around the frame that is distracting,” he said. “Now you can see a film on an iPad. You might be able to push it closer to your [face] in your bedroom, just lock the door and look at it if you can but I do find just glimpsing stuff here or there, even watching a film at home on a big-screen TV, there is still stuff around the room. There’s a phone that rings. People go by. It is not the best way.”
Essentially, there are too many distractions at home and he’s not wrong. It’s easy to text a friend, or hit up Twitter or simply start doing something else while the movie rolls on. In a darkened cinema, the film has your full, undivided attention. Still, not everyone can easily leave the house for the movie (especially if you have kids), or even has a local cinema playing something worth paying the money for, but Scorsese’s comments are really just a reflection of his ongoing drumbeat for the magic of moviegoing. And particularly in a time when studios are looking to shrink theatrical windows and as more streaming services arrive pumping content into our homes, Scorsese’s comments might seem anachronistic, but perhaps it’s something we need to be reminded of every now and then. [Screen Daily]