BySophie Atkinson, writer at
Sophie Atkinson

The wonderful recently delivered the Kennedy Center's annual Jefferson Lecture this past April to a sold-out crowd, on the spoken version of his recently published text 'Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema'.

Now the lecture's hit the interweb. Clocking in at seventy-five minutes, the lecture isn't exactly a Lolcat Youtube vid, but it's well worth clearing some time for – Scorsese describes film's appeal as an 'invocation of ongoing dialogue with life' and illustrates this with a passionate, eloquent look at the history of cinema.

In an age when it seems like second nature for filmmakers to bemoan the current state of affairs in Hollywood, Scorsese never resorts to nostalgia, arguing:

'...cinema has always been tied to technological development, and if we spend too much time lamenting what's gone, then we're going to miss the excitement of what's happening now. Everything is wide open. To some, this is cause for concern. But I think it's an exciting time precisely because we don't know what tomorrow will bring, let alone next week.'

So maybe CGI is a good thing, right? (hmmh).

The last twenty five minutes of the film are dedicated to an interview conducted by Kent Jones, his friend, collaborator and famed film critic.

It's a genuinely beautiful speech, so whether or not you're a fan of Scorsese (!), if you love movies, or you have any interest in Hollywood whatsoever, you should make this the best seventy-five minutes of your weekend:


After you've watched it, let me know what you think below.


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