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Martin Scorsese on the man who inspired him

February 13, 2020


I come from an area, what they consider melodrama
was pretty much happening. My father had a little TV set. They would show neorealist films
on a Friday night for the Italian American community. Having the asthma,
I was not allowed to play sports, so everything came through me,
through the movies on television. I lived on Elizabeth Street
between Prince and Houston, but I never went to the West Side, and so… I just went to the corner
of Elizabeth and Houston and made a left and walked about six blocks
and was in another universe. And I was accepted into
Washington Square College, which was part of NYU. And so I attended this orientation day and this was an eye-opening situation. And this gentleman got up
and he spoke with such passion and such energy about cinema, almost like a zealous preacher in a way. I became part of the cult. His name was Haig Manoogian.And, you know,
I was sort of taken by him at that point
because of that much energy,
because that much love.
Haig really inspired us. He pushed us and he cajoled us and he beat us down
and he built us back up again. He set a fire in our hearts.If you were crazy enough to think
you got to make a movie.
He was the one who inspired you.It’s one of the most precious gifts
I ever received. Over the years, I always get excited
by the young people coming up to me and kind of guide them as best I can
because it keeps me alive creatively. The fact that you’re able
to make someone else flower, in a sense.What a joy and privilege it has been
to work with you.
It’s really you, Marty – it’s you. Thank you.This is incredible satisfaction.

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