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'Invest in the future': Martin Scorsese urges Hollywood to put more money into independent films

New images of Martin Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon' debuted at the CinemaCon
UPDATED APR 28, 2023
Martin Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon' will premiere at Cannes this year (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Martin Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon' will premiere at Cannes this year (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: 'Killers of the Flower Moon,' Martin Scorsese's forthcoming epic crime-drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is about killings that occurred in Oklahoma in the early 1920s after major oil deposits were discovered on a tribe's land. It also looks at how the newly formed FBI investigated the killings. Scorsese's 27th feature, 'Killers of the Flower Moon' will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this year.

The film, based on David Grann's 2017 book, will run three hours and twenty-six minutes and will be released in cinemas by Paramount Pictures before streaming on Apple TV+ later. The screenplay was co-written by Martin Scorsese and Eric Roth.


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'Invest in the future'

During a recent appearance at the CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Leonardo DiCaprio and filmmaker Martin Scorsese presented the audience with the 'Killers of the Flower Moon' trailer. The filmmaker also accepted the convention's first-ever Legend of Cinema award for his many contributions to the medium over a nearly six-decade career.

While receiving the honor, the filmmaker told the packed Octavius Ballroom, “I understand that the goal should be to infuse excitement and enthusiasm to the next generation of artists to inspire and ultimately really be a good teacher,” according to ScreenDaily. The filmmaker spoke with DiCaprio later about his love for movies. He said, “You learn how to make a film by making it. You also learn by watching them, so you keep watching them and certain pictures go deeper and deeper and you begin to learn them. When I say ‘watching’ I do mean projected onto a big screen with an audience.”

The Academy Award-winning filmmaker then called a room of studio executives, movie theater owners, and other entertainment industry insiders to invest in independent films. “I would love you to find a way to help smaller independent films find their way back into the multiplexes… To be able to have younger people opt to go to a theatre to see them. You’ll be investing in the future of the movie business,” he said.

The filmmaker added, “Movies introduced me to everything: dance, theatre, music, all kinds. I came from a family, working class, that couldn’t afford theatre… I learned about the outside world from movies.” He touched on his love of French New Wave and Italian Neorealism, saying, “The French taught us how to retell a story… [Italian cinema is] based in very strong humanism.”


Making ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ was ‘tough’

The first trailer for 'Killers of the Flower Moon' premiered at CinemaCon. The film finds the director back with two of his most frequent partners, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, in addition to Jesse Plemons, Brenda Fraser, John Lithgow, and Lily Gladstone. Later, at a luncheon in his honor, Leonardo DiCaprio joined Scorsese in conversation about their forthcoming film, and the director mentioned that it was not an easy film to make.

Scorsese felt it was crucial to film the story where the incidents occurred and to focus on Mollie and Ernest, played by Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio, respectively. Martin remarked about Leo's character, "My interest as a human being was in how some of these guys could have done what they did and at the same time accepted it themselves and said ‘We love them’ and rationalize it as civilization – one comes in the other goes out.” He further mentioned that focusing on Mollie and Ernest is “where the heart of the picture is- we learned from many in the Osage that Ernest and Mollie really were in love with each other, really in love. Yet what he did and how she trusted him. How does that happen; how can we create that? We just put ourselves in that world with those people. There's love and there's murder. It's about winning. It's all about greed. And the only way to do it was to go there and stay there and be with the Osage."

The auteur went on to say, according to Collider, "The film had Osage-language experts working with the actors to make sure they were able to teach them the language and that they got the language right, technically. I saw a scene where many of the tribal council members of the Osage Nation were speaking, and I think they contributed to a lot of that dialogue themselves. I think anyone who sees that will find it bracing and breathtaking and powerful."

The filmmaker did not forget to remark that being from New York, it was tough for him to film wild horses, coyotes, etc., but said they immersed themselves in the great outdoors of Oklahoma and the Osage Nation and tried to do right by them as much as possible. During Paramount’s presentation, Martin Scorsese said, “This is a big-screen movie, and that’s what we made”.

It will take a while before the trailer shown at the convention is released online.