GOLETA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 14: Martin Scorsese onstage at Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Kirk Douglas Award Honoring Martin Scorsese at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara on November 14, 2019 in Goleta, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)
It sure was nice to spend an evening in a room full of people who there to toast one of the greatest living filmmakers. Thanks to Netflix for extending a hard-to-get invite to the Barcara Resort on the shores of Santa Barbara. It was a black tie affair, not unlike the Oscars themselves, with lots of wine, beer and vodka, along with a sit-down meal and lots of good cheer. That’s because whenever Roger Durling hosts any event in Santa Barbara is full of warmth and spirit. Durling is a true film fan and really doesn’t bother hiding that fact. He was almost in tears introducing Martin Scorsese’s work, which followed two great montage clips of the Master’s work. I could watch Scorsese clips all day. To me, even just one shot of his stuff is like scratching an itch.
Al Pacino took to the podium first to talk about Marty, but also to talk about drummer Buddy Rich (my own jazz drummer father would have loved to hear that story). He never worked with Marty — and in turn, Marty describes meeting Pacino but then watching the actor shoot into the stratosphere with the Godfather movies. It occurs to me that Scorsese is probably comfortable working with slow burn chameleon types like Robert De Niro and Leo DiCaprio than someone who takes up as much space in a film as Al Pacino.
Then, Leonardo got up to speak and and finally, to give The Professor his Kirk Douglas award. I’ve been to a few of these awards dinners and of course, leave it to Scorsese to wax on thoughtfully about Douglas the actor. Incidentally, Douglas appeared via video and cracked a few jokes about how Scorsese should have used him in his films and in fact, could still use him.
Scorsese tied in the Douglas conversation to the Bad and the Beautiful, which stars Kirk Douglas and how he’d wanted to make an update for the movie (you can see that in the clip below) and how The Irishman really sort of is that movie.
Scorsese is a natural speaker and has no problem being up in front of people and never — and I mean never — runs out of things to say. He has a million stories, and I hope he never stops telling them. I hope someone puts them down somewhere so that they are never forgotten. His stories about the neighborhood he grew up in, the films that shaped him, the music (the 45s) he listened to, the friends he knew – such an alive brain, such a creative force. Long Live Martin Scorsese. Bravo until the end of time.