Martin Scorsese loves movies. He doesn’t make them himself; he watches everything. He’s such a champion of preserving cinema, he even uses his money and reputation to saving it from oblivion, just like his longtime pal George Lucas. While he doesn’t like every movie, it’s a big deal when he takes time to single out a new film for high praise. That’s what he just did for one of the top grossers from last weekend.
As per /Film, Scorsese took time to reach out to A24, the high-end indie and genre distributor, to provide them with a gushing review of their new movie Pearl, Ti West’s prequel to his hit slasher X, which came out earlier this year. He begins by praising its director.
“Ti West’s movies have a kind of energy that is so rare these days, powered by a pure, undiluted love for cinema. You feel it in every frame,” Scorsese began. He then moved onto his latest opus:
“A prequel to ‘X’ made in a diametrically opposite cinematic register (think 50s Scope color melodramas), ‘Pearl’ makes for a wild, mesmerizing, deeply — and I mean deeply — disturbing 102 minutes. West and his muse and creative partner Mia Goth really know how to toy with their audience … before they plunge the knife into our chests and start twisting. I was enthralled, then disturbed, then so unsettled that I had trouble getting to sleep. But I couldn’t stop watching.”
If you’re surprised that Mr. Anti-Comic Book Movie (and the director of Goodfellas, Silence, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, etc.) is in love with a genre movie (that’s also technically a franchise film), then you shouldn’t be. Scorsese’s beef with comic book movies is that they have muscled every other type of movie — including the thoughtful, emotional, lengthy films he’s made for decades — out of the multiplex. “It’s not my kind of thing, it simply is not,” he wrote back in 2019, lamenting that it’s “creating another kind of audience that thinks cinema is that.”
But a lean, mean genre movie made with skill and a “a pure, undiluted love for cinema” and doesn’t feature anyone in tights? That should be fine with anyone, including the guy who’s made his share of gangster movies.