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Martin Scorsese Explains 1 Distinction Between Himself And Quentin Tarantino

Martin Scorsese, who is still directing at 80, can’t relate to Quentin Tarantino.

The latter has long vowed to retire after making his 10th film, while Scorsese is currently celebrating his 26th, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” When told in a recent interview that he “must just be built differently” than Tarantino, the New Yorker replied bluntly: “I am.”

“But he’s a writer,” Scorsese told The Associated Press. “He writes his own, you know, it’s a different thing. I come up with stories, I get attracted to stories through other people. All different means. Different means, different ways. So I think it’s a different process.”

Scorsese is certainly involved in every stage of the filmmaking process, but rued lacking the writerly talent and command of language as displayed by Tarantino — who has penned or co-written every single film he’s ever directed since “Reservoir Dogs” (1992).

“I respect writers and I wish I could,” Scorsese told AP. “I wish I could just be in a room, and create these novels. Not films, novels, you know? Long stories. I just read the great Italian novel, ‘I Promessi Sposi,’ or ‘The Betrothed,’ by [Alessandro] Manzoni.”

The 1827 novel mines the flaws in man-made legal systems and the illusory nature of political power. Historian Umberto Eco reportedly once joked it should be banned — because the joy of reading it could only be matched by giddily rediscovering it in secret.

Scorsese has certainly explored similar themes before and has now targeted the American justice system in “Flower Moon,” which is adapted from a David Grann novel about the Osage Nation murders in 1920s Oklahoma after oil is discovered on their land.

Scorsese and Tarantino have long respected each other as fellow auteurs.
Scorsese and Tarantino have long respected each other as fellow auteurs.

Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBC/Getty Images

“If I hold out and hold up, I’ll find a way to try to make something of it on film, but I have to be curious about the subject,” Scorsese told AP. “My curiosity is still there. I couldn’t speak for Quentin Tarantino or others who are able to create this work in their world.”

While Tarantino fans are already mourning the end of an era, his possible final directorial effort, “The Movie Critic,” appears worthy of his filmography. In an ironic twist, it regards a real-life film critic who reminded Tarantino of Scorsese’s protagonist in 1976’s “Taxi Driver.”

“Think about Travis’ diary entries,” Tarantino told Deadline earlier this year of the
“Taxi Driver” character played by Robert DeNiro. “I think he was a very good critic. He was as cynical as hell. His reviews were a cross between early Howard Stern and what Travis Bickle might be if he were a film critic.”

“Killers of the Flower Moon” is now in theaters; “The Movie Critic” is in pre-production.