Wow, the self-righteousness of this thread stinks of expensive cheese.
Scorsese is turning 70 this year and has a wife with Parkinson's and a 12 year-old. He had a mammoth tax lien as a result of being bilked by convicted accountant Kenneth Starr, but I guess none of you will ever have to worry about the financial well-being of your families. Good for you. I guess it's better to have your stuff sold on your front lawn post-mortem like Sammy Davis Jr.'s family had to suffer through. Or maybe you prefer the path taken by the late Andrew Breitbart's colleagues at Fox News holding their hats in their hands, begging viewers to send in alms to support his kids.
I haven't even mentioned that The Film Foundation also benefits from these sell-out adverts. Anyway, have a nice trip down the low road.
At least it's expensive cheese, I guess.
I don't care one way or the other about Scorsese's shillification. So long as an artist isn't advertising for evil shit, I begrudge them none. It's very, very easy money in ridiculous quantity for like six hours of your time. You'd be a fool to resist it.
That said, trying to appeal to Scorsese's publicized financial trouble and his difficult home life to justify this decision is silly. Yes, he got fleeced for something like $3 million a little while back. But he's got PLENTY more where that came from. I think $3 million is what he got paid upfront for Gangs of New York alone. Lots of people at his age live through similar circumstances and don't have $3 million to lose. Unless he's secretly taken extreme measures to fuck up his assets, he's not doing ads because he's short on money. Mind also that he'd have a lot more money if so much of it didn't disappear up his nose through the 70s and 80s. Not that I have any problem with his habits (he made a lot of great films high), but, financially, it is what it is.
As far as his filmmaking goes, while I haven't personally enjoyed most of his recent output (save for the documentaries), I don't think they're bad films necessarily. From Gangs of New York on, he's worked almost exclusively on big, big movies. Not since New York, New York would he have had this much money behind his films and (possibly as a result of what happened with that movie, though more likely just the state of movies today) these sort of budgets impose enormous restrictions on the risks he's allowed to take. And so to ensure himself the enormous canvas he desires, he's made popular, mainstream films. Decent ones too when compared with much of what else is out there. I don't think they're purely paycheck jobs. There's passion behind them, no matter how misplaced. And, like I said, I don't think he needs money. He could easily get, say, $30 million to make Silence any time without any restrictions whatsoever. I guess he envisions something on a larger scale than that would afford and for something with such niche-y appeal, financing would be hard to come by. Even with his formidable reputation.
Guys like Haneke and Kubrick and Altman are anomalies.
Haneke and Kubrick have a singularity of vision which the movie brat generation lacked from the get-go. They were too scattershot to ever hope for Kubrickian perfection. I don't think that was even their intention. I'm not sure Haneke is really, truly at Kubrick's level either (Funny Games, both the original and the remake are a bit of a mar on his record), but then, very few are. But he's still making good movies in old age, so I get what you mean. Altman, too, is often included in these discussion even though it's not entirely warranted. He ended strong, but made a bunch of kinda shitty movies. Has no one seen O.C. & Stiggs? Or The Gingerbread Man? Or Dr. T & the Women? I'm not saying they don't have their moments but they're nowhere near the films he made in the 70s. And I don't mean to knock the movie brat generation. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I generally don't hate even their clunkiest shit. I almost hate Jack.