There are few things more coveted in our current cinema landscape than Martin Scorsese’s validation. Disagree? Do yourself the disservice of reading up on the reaction to the 79-year-old filmmaker’s disinterest in superhero movies. As we know, many people take Scorsese’s opinion very seriously. So it’s no surprise that when A24 received Scorsese’s sterling review of Ti West’s latest thriller, Pearl, the studio decided to make it an excellent promotional blurb for the movie. Scorsese wrote:
“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. 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.
It is nice when Scorsese praises genre movies, especially smaller ones. While the internet was up in arms over his displeasure in watching Thanos collect Infinity Gems, he was penning introductions for Ari Aster’s Midsommar, which gives an even better understanding of what the director is looking for when he watches a movie:
I like watching older movies I’ve never seen. I like revisiting the ones I have seen. I like watching new movies. And I love discovering the work of filmmakers that aren’t known to me, particularly younger filmmakers that are just starting out.
What am I looking for? I’m looking for people with a need to express something. “I need you to experience this…” Not an idea or a theme as much as a whole experience, or a recollection, or a profound emotional impression from which the ideas and the themes emerge organically, so to speak. It’s difficult to put into words for a reason: because it can be expressed in moving images and sounds — in other words, cinema.
Ti West’s Pearl is in theaters now.