Martin Scorsese, to the rescue of world-class cinema
One cycle sponsored by the filmmaker features Polish masterpieces.
The legend says that in the 1980s, when there was no Internet or digital communication (yes, that happened), the American Martin Scorsese and French Bertrand Tavernier, film directors, close friends, scholars and as cinephiles as moviegoers, movies were sent On VHS on Paris-New York flights. In fact, the legend says they took advantage of the Concorde, but that would fall into the category of myth.
What is certain is that Scorsese’s passion for cinema knows no bounds: everything has seen and knows everything. Hence in 1990 he created The Film Foundation, an organization to preserve and exhibit classic cinema, the most important in the world in this work. Since its creation, they have already restored over 750 films, as well as giving talks and screenings to students.
His work is not confined to American and Western European cinema. The World Film Project division of The Film Foundation has restored 28 titles from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Central and South America, Asia and the Middle East – can be rented on its website for screenings around the world. His latest initiative, to create African Film Heritage Project together with the Federation of African filmmakers: there are already selected 50 films with which to begin work.
Doors and sponsorships
Everything, under the umbrella of Scorsese, which opens many doors and achieves a lot of sponsorships. And that was what happened in early December 2011, when the New Yorker traveled to Poland to receive the doctorate honoris causa of the National Film School of Lódz, birthplace of the batch of great Polish directors of the fifties and sixties, grouped under The denomination of Polish School or the cinema of the moral restlessness: Jerzy Skolimowski, Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Andrzej Wajda or Andrzej Munk. It was an explosion of talent that still amazes Scorsese today. Hence the filmmaker was delighted to Lódz, invited by Wajda. And there he met with Jedrzej Sablinski, an expert in film digitization of the company Kino RP, who was doing this work privately. At that time, 70 films had already been restored – now they have surpassed 120 – and of those, Scorsese chose 21 (and then added three more) that under his protection were premiered at Lincoln Center in New York in 2014, and after his success traveled to Several English-speaking countries.
Yesterday at the Film Academy, Sablinski and Zanussi, as restaurateur and honored, Martin Scorsese introduced: masterpieces of Polish cinema, to be seen in Madrid, Cordoba, Barcelona, Oviedo and Valencia. «We were very lucky that Scorsese supported our initiative,» says Sablinski, who in Spain will be represented by nine masterpieces such as Ashes and Diamonds and Wajda’s Promised Land; Kieslowski’s Chance and You Will not Kill, or Constans, Zanussi’s. As Scorsese says in the introduction video, «they are socially committed films with poetic responsibility.» He continues: «Each film embodies what Wajda has called ‘blatant creative freedom in the cinema’. They are films […] whose complexity makes us discover them again and again. Their stories affected me deeply. »
Sablisnki confesses that the first film they restored in 2007, The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973) by Wojciech J. Has, had eight viewers in its premiere. «With Scorsese everything changed. It’s a label that means a lot. » As former director of the Seminci Fernando Lara pointed out at the event, «I wish there was something like this in Spanish cinema, sponsored or not by Scorsese.»