Back to selection

Watch: Martin Scorsese’s Commencement Speech at NYU’s Tisch Salute

Earlier this year, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts took over Radio City Music Hall for its annual separate, not-quite-graduation ceremony, and the honored speaker at the center was Martin Scorsese (class of ’64/’68). Over the course of half an hour, Scorsese recalled how, when he entered film school, the concept seemed suspicious: as he says, when he told people in his neighborhood he wanted to be a filmmaker, they would ask “What are you going to make, celluloid for Eastman Kodak?” A friend of his called film school “a sandbox for the visually excitable and academically compromised.” From those early memories, Scorsese moves on to his anxious dreams (including one where Rouben Mamoulian takes over his film set), recalls the formative influence of Shadows and America America, discusses his love for Herman Melville and quotes Pierre, or the Ambiguities. Yes, there are words of courage and confidence for the graduates as well.

© 2022 Filmmaker Magazine. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of The Gotham